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Gus G: Quantum Leap

As we all know 2020 put a lot of things on hold and unfortunately sucked a lot of momentum out of many album releases. Bands were unable to play their supporting tours due to the worldwide lockdowns and restrictions and this was the case for Gus G’s main band, Firewind, and their 2020 self-titled release. One thing that the lockdowns did provide a lot of artists with however was time to write and record new music and Gus G being no slouch did exactly that, emerging now with his 4th solo effort Quantum Leap. Gus G is of course well known for his 9 album long career with Firewind but also for working with such names as Ozzy Osbourne, Arch Enemy, Mystic Prophecy, Nightrage and Dream Evil. So the man's credentials are self evident.

Quantum Leap is a purely instrumental album of hard rock and metal with plenty of hook-laden riffing and top tier guitar fireworks. Quantum Leap is fairly musically diverse yet also uniform in a sense. Nothing feels out of place or going in too far-off a direction that it affects the overall mood of the album. Unlike many solo guitar albums the tracks on this album are not just exhibitions of guitar prowess, even though there is plenty of great playing, the pieces all feel like proper songs with their own personality and emotional impact. Gus originally played everything on the demos but by chance-encounter ended up enlisting drummer Vincent Velasco who does a great job at providing the pummeling power and is a perfect fit for the music. The mixing and mastering was handled by Dennis Ward who gave the album a slick, powerful professionalism and sheen. He also plays bass on eight of the ten tracks. The album leaps out with the uplifting and hard rockin’ “Into The Unknown” which lays out much of the formula for the album. Catchy hooks, epic riffs, pummeling drums, great dual guitar melodies and guitar solo wizardry. While songs like “Chronesthesia” highlight some of Gus’ more jazzy passages and Holdsworth-inspired soloing without straying too far from the uplifting metal surrounding it. “Night Driver” even has a somewhat retro 80’s synthwave feel to it which is a cool extra dimension to the music.

I was skeptical of this album at first not because of anything against Gus G, but because guitarist solo albums generally have a tendency to get pretty tiresome and often get lost down the pit of endless guitar wankery, devoid of real songs. However, Quantum Leap is a very pleasant surprise. While I think the album would be better with a great singer elevating it further, for an instrumental statement it’s definitely strong. A highly enjoyable listen from top to bottom and the bonus live CD is also fantastic. Gus G once again shows what a great talent he is and Quantum Leap is a worthy addition to his storied career.

1. Into the Unknown
2. Exosphere
3. Quantum Leap
4. Chronesthesia
5. Enigma Of Life
6. Judgement Day
7. Fierce
8. Demon Stomp
9. Night Driver
10. Not Forgotten
11. Majeure

CD2 Live:
12. Fearless
13. Mr Manson
14. Letting Go
15. Cold Sweat
16. Majure
17. Money For Nothing
18. Thrill Of The Chase

Added: December 4th 2021
Reviewer: Benjamin Dudai
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 864
Language: english

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Gus G: Quantum Leap
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2021-12-04 14:38:29
My Score:

Pretty impressive set of guitar instrumentals here from Greek guitar hero Gus G (Firewind, Ozzy, Dream Evil) who has made a name for himself over the years in different metal contexts but now he's letting his six-string capabilities do all the talking. Quantum Leap is a fun listen, packed with plenty of riff-o-rama and blazing solos, though it's not a non-stop shred fest thankfully, Gus fully understanding the art of delivering a memorable melody and some crushing riffs that then allow his solos to shoot off into the stratosphere. "Into the Unknown" and "Exosphere" are the two tracks that kick off the album, and they do so in fine fashion, the riffs and the rhythms are rock solid, and Gus' solos jaw dropping yet melodic at the same time. The title track, "Fierce", and "Demon Stomp" show his metal side, the riffing mighty, and the leads just flying all over the mix, while he lets out his inner Joe Satriani on memorable cuts like "Chronesthesia" and "Enigma of Life". As an added bonus, the AFM Records CD digipack includes the bonus track "Force Majeure", which features a duel with guitarist Vinnie Moore, plus an extra CD of live tracks from Gus' performance at a Budapest festival in 2018. In in all, Quantum Leap is a strong release from Gus G, and well worth a listen for guitar lovers of all ages.

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