GUS G – I Am the Fire
Contemplating his next moves with Firewind and Ozzy, guitarist Gus G felt the time was ripe to deliver his first solo album in "I Am the Fire". These 12 songs feature a variety of singers, including notable names such as Mats Levén, Jeff Scott Soto, and Tom S. Englund, along with complementary musicians such as Dave Ellefson and Billy Sheehan. Most of the material has a commercial, modern hard rock vibe, Gus’ guitar work is still exemplary, but the choruses are very basic, the main structures very stripped down, and I doubt many Firewind fans will be thrilled to hear "My Will Be Done", the Linkin Park-ish title cut, or sultry "Eyes Wide Open".
There are a couple of tracks that pique my interest like "Terrified" featuring a semi-technical battle between Gus G and Billy Sheehan and the ballad "Dreamkeeper" is right in Tom S. Englund’s emotional wheelhouse, but overall "I Am the Fire" only sets off sparkler type fireworks and is missing more of the explosions we expect from such a consummate metal musician.