Kostas Karamitroudis likely isn’t a name that too many hard rock and heavy metal listeners would be able to recognize, but if you mention him by his stage name Gus G. then you’ll get an entirely different reaction. Between his work with Ozzy Osbourne and Firewind, Gus G. has developed quite the reputation within the guitar community.
There is some distinct influence of predecessor Randy Rhoads and Zakk Wylde in his approach, which made him an appropriate adversary for the Prince of Darkness. While the similarities are present, there is also a landscape of elements unique unto him that find their way onto Gus G.’s new solo effort, ‘Brand New Revolution.’
‘Brand New Revolution’ is the sophomore studio album from Gus G., and to be honest there aren’t that many differences between this record and the guitarist’s 2014 debut ‘I Am the Fire.’ This installment remains authentic to the style of Gus G. while incorporating a number of formidable pairings with seasoned lead vocalists.
Following an anthemic instrumental simply titled “The Quest,” this album begins to take shape following an appearance from Adler singer Jacob Bunton on the title track, “Brand New Revolution.” Dedicated listeners who enjoyed Ozzy Osbourne’s 2010 studio album ‘Scream’ featuring Gus G. will be able to appreciate the structure of this piece, which boasts an aggressive yet melodic hard rock atmosphere.
While a Deep Purple cover may have been understandably anticipated, “Burn” is instead a brooding rocker that is propelled by a grinding palm-muted rhythm section and the ever-morphing vocal style of Bunton. “We Are One” continues to progress upon this chemistry, whereas the following “What Lies Below” features the album’s first lineup change while introducing Elize Ryd of the Swedish power metal unit Amaranthe into the fold.
Jeff Scott Soto of Journey later appears on the energetic “Gone to Stay,” which is centered around a melodic refrain which the rock frontman has long been associated with. This collaboration, no doubt, is Soto’s way of paying Gus G.’s previous effort with his solo project last year forward.
Although the revolving cast of vocal talent is impressive, the main focus remains on Gus G.’s blistering arrangements which are generously featured throughout. Whether it’s the gravely chord progressions of “Generation G,” the slightly psychedelic themes of “One More Try” or the momentous shred fest on “The Demon Inside,” the guitarist assures he is still more than capable of nailing both complex arrangements and articulate compositions.