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Articles Home » 2003 Articles » Khymera - 2003 Khymera
Khymera - 2003 Khymera

ARTIST: Khymera
ALBUM: Khymera
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2003


LINEUP: Steve Walsh - vocals * Daniele Liverani - guitar, bass, keyboards * Dario Ciccioni - drums * Joe Vana, Thom Griffin, Billy Greer - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Khymera * 02 Strike Like Lightning * 03 Shadows * 04 Who's Gonna Love You Tonight * 05 Living With A Memory * 06 Bless A Brand New Angel * 07 Written With The Wind * 08 Without Warning * 09 How You Gonna Live Without Love * 10 Say It With Love * 11 Love Leads The Way * 12 Tears On The Pages * 13 Aftertouch (Bonus)


This is a much awaited collaboration between Kansas vocalist Steve Walsh and multi-instrumentalist Daniele Liverani, the latter responsible for the acclaimed 'Genius- Episode One', an ambitious rock opera. However the twist is that none of the songs are original efforts by the pairing, instead they have chosen to record a group of songs by other familiar artists in the AOR/Hard Rock genre, some tracks already known, some not. In many cases the tracks were unused by these musicians and passed on for use on this record. So we get names like Jim Peterik, Kip Winger, David Foster, Mr Big, Hardline and Russ Ballard to name a few. Most of these compositions are from the late 80's and early nineties so the quality is assured. Walsh's old Streets producer Mike Slamer is responsible for the crisp production, while fellow Streets/Kansas cohort Billy Greer adds backing vocals along with Mecca's Griffin and Vana.

The Songs
A brief self titled instrumental begins proceedings, sounding suspiciously like an excerpt from an 80's action film, courtesy of the 80's keyboard use. A pair of dated Mr Big 'Navy Seal' soundtrack choices are the first selections, 'Strike like Lightning' and 'Shadows'. Inspired nonetheless, Liverani keeps the late 80's spirit alive, both containing desperately exciting hooks, typical of that era. David Foster's 'Who's Gonna Love You Tonight' is a moderately executed ballad which pales next to Jim Peterik's 'Living With A Memory', my choice for the best moment on offer. Obviously very Survivor styled, this is of better quality than much of the 'Too Hot To Sleep' era, Peterik delivering a classic chorus, which Walsh does a nice job of interpreting. Liverani brings this to life in real 80's fashion. 'Bless A Brand New Angel' was supplied by Judithe and Robin Randall, and is unbelievably bland, a nondescript ballad. Also failing to live up to expectations are Winger's 'Written In The Wind' and 'Without Warning'. If these had been Khymera originals they might have been passable, but as they are culled from Winger's glory years, they pale next to anything off Winger's first two albums. Perhaps a reason why they never used them? Peterik strikes again with 'Say It With Love', with Walsh in fine form. Khymera eat this vintage AOR up, with yet another heart-stopping hook, an easy stand out here, and proof that Survivor could still have an impact in the AOR world. Hardline's 'Love Leads The Way' was a Japan only track, well known to fans, but tends to be rather faceless, predictable melodic hard rock, with a nice bridge at least. The Russ Ballard and Peterik co-penned 'Tears On The Pages' isn't as stunning as one might imagine, far less addictive than Peterik's other contributions, but at least Walsh puts on his best Jimi Jamison impersonation.

In Summary
Obviously a mixed bag, which is what you might expect from second hand demos in many cases, with the odd standout, mainly the Mr Big and Jim Peterik moments. Credit though to Liverani and company for adhering to a classic AOR sound, and making this seem like a throwback to better times, which was hard not to do considering the dated nature of some selections. One wonders what an album of originals between Liverani and Walsh might have thrown up, but I assume they (and their label) might not expect the public to be familiar with much of the content, treating them more as originals. But with the identities of the writers stamped all over them, that would be impossible for die hard fans of the genre.

Related Articles
Khymera - 2003 Khymera
Khymera - 2005 A New Promise
Khymera - 2008 The Greatest Wonder
Khymera - 2015 The Grand Design

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