Jori : Most Greek gods are three thousand years old and if they ever played an instrument it was probably a lute or a harp. Gus G is the exception to this rule of thumb, the young Greek guitar god who around his thirtieth year was enlisted into the service of one of the greatest known in our metal world, Ozzy. Also Gus managed to steal the hearts of many a metalhead with Firewind and now he has his third solo release at the ready, ‘Fearless’. In contrast to the first two, that were crammed with guest vocalists, there is only one singer to be heard on ‘Fearless’. And guess what, that singer is the well-known producer Dennis Ward, als bass player in Pink Cream 69. Never knew that the man could sing! Of course, he also takes care of the production, leaving the sound quality in more than safe hands. Furthermore, we can enjoy the drum qualities of veteran Will Hunt (among others Black Label Society and Evanescence). So the experience is gathered, now we need some good music, for that was the weaker link on the previous two albums.
On ‘Letting Go’ it is proved that Dennis can definitely sing. His voice fits well to the modern heavy metal that is featured on this album. ‘Mr. Manson’ gives a more groovy hardrock approach to things. And then there is the guitar solos, and that is the thing we weigh heavily in an album by Gus G. The solo of ‘Mr Manson’ is laid into the music in a harmonic and tasteful way, while in a song like ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ the awe-inspiring shredding of Gus is featured. There are two songs (three if you get the digipack) that are completely instrumental and therefore revolve around the guitar playing of Gus. The first instrumental song is the title track ‘Fearless’, a song that puts both the lightning-paced shredding as the feeling for harmonic sound of the good man in the spotlights. ‘Nothing To Say’ acts as a finger down the throat. Musically this is a fine ballad, but the lyrics are just that bit too whiny.
Just recovered from this feat of drool there is suddenly this very recognisable melody. Well I’ll be, is that Dire Straits? And yep, Gus made a metal translation of the world-famous classic ‘Money For Nothing’. Even the lyrics have been updated, since we no longer gotta move these colour TVs, but we gotta move these LCD’s. After this cover we continue with the fine ‘Chances’, maybe a bit too modern for some? Before we are going to fight opinions, let’s continue with the tasty ‘Thrill Of The Chase’, one of the instrumental songs. ‘Last Of My Kind’ is a beautiful anthem, that has tasteful choirs making it an appropriate album closer.
The first two albums relied too much on guest musicians that had to make the album grand. This is not the case with ‘Fearless’, that is really written from the power of the individual songs. All these ten songs stand on their own and despite the occasional weaker specimen (‘Nothing To Say!’) this is a far stronger album than both predecessors. It is not material for the end of the year list, but a good album nonetheless. And of course, all guitarists among you will be able to nourish themselves with the guitar art of Gus himself, for that is present in large portions!