I first heard of Gus when the rumors swirled he would replace longtime Ozzy guitar player Zac Wylde. Soon confirmed, my first exposure to Gus’ playing was on the Ozzy record Scream. Equal parts of Ozzy alumnus Jake E. Lee and Zach Wylde. So when I was given the chance to write a review of Gus’ first solo offering I was happy to have ears and the opportunity.
I Am The Fire follows the path of guitar hero records of lore that feature multiple singers. Iommi, Slash and to even Dave Grohl with Probot have all delivered great albums in this format. While the names on Gus’ record are less boner inspiring it still sends blood to the penis.
After my first listen I feel comfortable saying something called Mats Leven makes too much of an appearance. Equal parts capable and boring. One song is more than enough when you have Jeff Scott Soto and Alexia Rodriguez on the same record. Give me more of them and less of him please.
While I’m not typically a fan of them there are a couple of really good instrumentals that unnecessarily feature guest bassists Billy Sheehan and Dave Ellefson. One thing you gotta like about Gus is his attention to rhythm. A lot of shredders struggle with the other 90% of the song. But Gus can deliver a great riff. And with Ozzy claiming to have written all of the guitar parts on Scream, I had my reservations. He delivers inspired rhythm tracks throughout
Gus has the chops for sure but what he has beyond that is the ability to shred in a way that keeps your interest. Its no coincidence that Ozzy got him.
Stand out tracks: Long Way Down, Redemption, Summer Days, Dreamkeeper and End of The Line.
Odds I will play this record more than 5 times in the next 12 months: 70%
I would chop and snort a line of gyro’s if there was a chance it would make me a better guitar player. Gus is one of those players who either inspire you to practice more or inspire you to give up the guitar for a life of masturbation. This is a good but not great rock album. But since everyone is jumping on the Gene Simmons “Rock was be-headed by angry fans of the Voice let me say…