In the pantheon of hard rock and metal, some guitarists are so well known, they’ve become household names. Eddie Van Halen. Yngwie Malmsteen. George Lynch. Zakk Wylde. The list goes on and on. One name that should instantly come to mind and easily roll off the tongues of all guitar enthusiasts is Gus G. With an unbelievably extensive body of work already under his belt, including Firewind, Dream Evil, three solo albums and a brief, grossly mismanaged and under-utilized stint in Ozzy’s band (don’t get me started on that one!), we are gifted with the strictly instrumental outing, QUANTUM LEAP.
The danger with instrumental albums is that they are, far too often, vehicles for mindless egotistical guitar noodling that are completely void of emotion and soul, failing miserably at establishing even the most basic connection with the listener. Rest assured; QUANTUM LEAP is the complete opposite. Every song is a multi-layered, multi-textured masterpiece. At the heart of every song is a masterfully crafted melody. The melodies are then meticulously placed on top of driving riffs, creating the foundation for Gus’ dexterous mind-boggling lead work. The mix is pure perfection, and each instrument is given white glove treatment in order for each tune to achieve the ideal balance of power and clarity.
QUANTUM LEAP is a diverse album covering a multitude of styles ranging from prog to down-tuned modern metal to 80’s synth inspired hard rock! The songs are vast soundscapes, with each one taking you on a journey of endless discovery. There are melodic twists and turns that reveal new thrilling passages upon each listen. It is truly impossible to pick favorites, as this album is jam packed with stunning virtuoso guitar wizardry from start to finish. With that being said, “Exosphere” and “Force Majeure” are slightly edging the others out for most listens at the moment!
For those of you worshiping at the altar of Satriani, Vai and Malmsteen or, for those who long for the days when the mighty Shrapnel Records ruled the land, I beg you to give this album a chance. Gus G is a generational talent. His attention to even the smallest melodic detail on every single tune is utterly mind boggling. This album is essential to guitarists of all skill levels wanting to learn melodic structure and overall song composition.
An instant instrumental guitar classic and contender for 2021 Album of the Year. Period.