FIREWIND - Immortals
February 12, 2017, a year ago
(AFM / Century Media)
I was on board with Firewind from day 1 and the debut in 2002, and when Ozzy was looking for a new guitarist my heavy metal crystal ball foresaw Gus as a contender. With that, over the course of eight albums, and several lineup changes, Gus has done a great job of mixing up his songwriting. Every album includes a couple speedy power metal Helloween/Gamma Ray/Edguy inspired tunes (“Hands Of Time”, “We Defy”), and instrumentals like the title track. Also, a ballad – “Lady Of 1000 Sorrows” where new addition ex-Metallium frontman Henning Basse gets to show his stuff, to the epic feel from the dramatic spoken intro of “Ode To Leonidas”.
Now while all the previously said compositions show musicianship and variety, Gus also finds a place for the all-important catchy hook in a few crunchy headbanging rockers ready for radio. These type of songs (see previous singles “Falling To Pieces”, “Head Up High”, “World On Fire”, etc.) I’m sure were one of the reasons why he got the Ozzy gig. On Immortals, that riff for “Back On The Throne” (great ‘80s keyboard) easily could have been used for the Prince of Darkness, as well as “Live And Die By The Sword” and its very “Diary Of A Madman” classical guitar beginning, and verses on “War Of Ages”.
Firewind and Gus G, both overlooked and underappreciated talents, have been flying the flag for more than ten years to preserve the present and future for hard rock and heavy metal.