Reviewed: May 2018
Released: April 2018, AFM Records
Reviewer: Alice Chant
It’s not very often that we find a band that is centred around the guitarist who simply plays guitar and doesn’t sing also. I think I can only compare it to Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and potentially Zakk Wylde. Gus G is the guitarist and this is his album. ‘Fearless’ is Gus G’s third solo album which releases in April this year.
In these twelve tracks, we are blessed with three instrumentals, something which isn’t found that often anymore, which are brilliant stand alone tracks and I am grateful to have the opportunity to appreciate the musicianship. There is absolutely no doubt that Gus G is an incredibly talented musician and has earned his place in the industry as such a strong guitarist, the entire album is technically very clever and is full of remarkable riffs and solos, every guitar fan’s dream. After being in Ozzy’s band for several years, as well as others such as Arch Enemy and Firewind, Gus G certainly has a breadth of experience and knowledge and is enjoying the freedom to create his own material. The title track ‘Fearless’, which is one of the three instrumental tracks, is an amalgamation of musical influence. We hear Satriani’s ‘Midnight’, some Djent, a touch Yngwie and finally close with a bit of Eddie Van Halen’s ‘Hot For Teacher’. Although this particular track caught my ear as a homage to influence and reinforces the musciality, the lyrical parts of the album unfortunately don’t convey the same sincerity. It’s 2018, we don’t need anymore songs about Charles Manson, do we?! I can’t help but think the vocal portions of this album reminds me of Papa Roach-inspired teenage angst. I think it’s one of those albums that you discover in the beginning of your metal journey when you are in your early teens and trying to be rebellious towards Mum and Dad. Never the less, I have found myself humming the songs completely unexpectedly and I would certainly label the track ‘Letting Go’ as an ear worm.
So, for me, this album feels a little juvenile in places but the musicianship is A class. And does it matter that it may appeal to a younger audience? I don’t think it necessarily does, the beauty of the metal community is that we don’t judge each others taste but embrace the family and the diversity of this genre.
Gus G. (Guitars)
Dennis Ward (Bass, Vocals)
Will Hunt (Drums)