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Drax, Gus: In Search of Perfection
Gus Drax In Search of Perfection new music review

Drax, Gus: In Search of Perfection

Instrumental
4.0/5.0

Originally the shredder for that seminal U.K. progressive thrash behemoth Biomechanical, Gus Drax has now blazed his own trail and released an album he can call his own. Its ambitious title proves a fitting declaration of intent once Gus lets it rip at the glorious opener Kiss of Life. His playing won't be lost on fans of Jeff Loomis, Michael Amott, and even that other Greek wunderkind, Gus G., all guitarists who have the neo-classical touch in their own repertoire's. The same flare for technical bombast and sonic drama courses though each salvo of impeccable musicianship on this album.

Consistent from first song to last and still endowed with enough variety that lends the whole effort a unique character, Gus is in great shape whether the occasion calls for no-holds-barred shred (Cerebral Chaos) or the improvisational swagger of 1,000 Nights. What the breadth of his talent reveals is he's no one trick pony. Gus Drax may have arrived on the masterful Biomechanical opus Cannibalized (buy it, it's one of those rare albums both awe-inspiring and technical), but his ambition ranges far beyond the confines of thrash…even if he recently joined German thrash band Paradox last January.

Since consistency is a reliable measure of a good album, In Search of Perfection is a damn fine album by any measure. Not only does Gus prove he's a guitarist to be reckoned with (if he's already this good at 22, what more by the time he's in his 30s?) but a man dedicated to songcraft as well. This explains why he's able to combine his brilliant displays of technique with oozing drama. For proof there's the tender twists and turns of In Loving Memory, the soaring In the Presence of the Dead that puts most power metal virtuosos to shame, and the flawlessly executed bonus track Vitality.

But In Search of Perfection would not have been realized hadn't Gus' collaborators lent him a hand. Fellow Greeks John Symionis and bassist Vasilis provide the rhythm section for all the tracks here. Also included are contributions by ex-Nevermore guitar whiz Steve Smyth plus Dmitris Bourrakas and Bob Katsionis. Except for Smyth, none of them are 'name' musicians but without their efforts, In Search of Perfection would not be the worthy introduction to Gus Drax that it is.

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In Short

Since consistency is a reliable measure of a good album, In Search of Perfection is a damn fine album by any measure. Not only does Gus prove he's a guitarist to be reckoned with, but a man dedicated to songcraft as well.

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