(8/10) Releases of albums that include Dennis Ward are per se good ones. Khymera's "The Grand Design" is such a longplayer. The beginning of this project was actually a while a go when Daniel Liverani, an Italian keyboarder, and Kansas singer Steve Welsh teamed-up to create some music together. Things gained speed when Dennis Ward joined and two albums have been the result of all the effort. After those releases the band decided for having a break before Ward pick-up the thread again. Now, being in full control over songwriting and production, the new record "The Grand Design" has been created
The project (or is it a band?) released seven years after "The Greatest Wonder" a new album that is full of melodic rock pearls.
Close to AOR, Ward picked up things where Khymera stopped with "The Greatest Wonder". Melodic rock records are often confronted with the risk of being cheesy and sugar sweet. Ward avoids all this by giving the album still a rougher sound that makes things less polished. Still the sound of the album is excellent and the edges make it morr alive than the majority of releases in the same genre.
Khymera has some softer moments such as "I Believe" but contains also enough rock songs. The fast opener "Never Give Up on You" belongs to those numbers as well as the title track. Some ballads are a 'must' on melodic rock records too. On "The Grand Design" those are called "Land of Golden Dreams"; a song that builds up to a rocker towards the end. "Streetlight" insteat is a pure piano based tune that carries a lot of emotions.
"The Grand Design" belongs to the cool AOR releases which I can recommend also to headbangers that are searching for a X-mas gift for their girlfriend.
- Never Give Up On You
- Tell Me Something
- Say What You Want
- I Believe
- A Night To Remember
- She’s Got The Love
- Land Of Golden Dreams
- The Grand Design
- Who’s Fooling Who
- Where Is The Love
Label: Frontiers Records
Release Date EU: December 4th, 2015