Greek guitar wizard and former Ozzy Osbourne alumni Gus G reboots his first love Firewind with this self-titled new release.
Words: Robert Adams
There have been line-up changes for this 2020 version of Firewind. Most importantly Herbie Langhans has stepped up to the mic for this release and what a fantastic job he does. A picked acoustic guitar is the first thing you hear on this album, before a lovely electric solo provides melodic counterpoint. Then the drums kick in, the riffing proper begins and Langhams voice soars above it all.
So far, so Firewind. That’s not a bad thing you understand, it’s just that Gus G and his crew have a tendency to disappoint. There are usually a few top drawer songs on Firewind albums and the rest are there to make up the numbers. 2017’s ‘Immortals’ was a very strong album that proved they can do it when they put their minds to it.
‘Firewind’ is a bona fide cracker of an album, that is just begging you to bang your head and throw up the horns. Gus G is restrained one minute, then shredding like a madman the next.
His guitar prowess has been well documented (hell, you don’t get chosen to tour with Ozzy if you’re no good) but his performance on this album is spectacular. First single ‘Rising Fire’ sees him throw in some Randy Rhoads style flourishes.
The rhythm section of Petros Christo (Bass) and Jo Nunez (drums) keep pace with Gus G’s virtuosity and provide a solid backbone to the whole affair. ‘Break Away’ has an intro that Yngwie would be proud of, before settling down to a glorious melodic Metal groove.
‘Longing To Know You’ slows the pace and also showcases Langhans’ wonderful voice in this power ballad, which has shades of The Scorpions ‘Still Loving You’ for my ears. It’s pedal to the Metal for the remainder of the album.
Here’s a question for you – is Melodic Power Metal a thing? if it is, then that’s EXACTLY what ‘Firewind’ is.
Gus G can write riffs and solo like a man possessed, but he also has a wonderful ear for melody. Every song on this album has an ear worm chorus that will bury itself in your brain long after you’ve finished listening to it. Have i mentioned that Herbie Langhans is in top form throughout? I think I may have!!
If Melodic Power Metal is your particular cup of darjeeling, then this album comes highly recommended!