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Khymera - 2005 A New Promise



ARTIST: Khymera
ALBUM: A New Promise
LABEL: Frontiers
SERIAL: FRCD 248
YEAR: 2005

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Dennis Ward - vocals * Daniele Liverani - keyboards, bass * Tommy Ermolli - guitars * Dario Ciccioni - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 A New Promise * 02 Alone * 03 Let It Burn * 04 Looking For You * 05 All That I Have * 06 The Damage Is Done * 07 After The Way * 08 You Can't Take Me * 09 Tomorrow Never Comes * 10 Fields Of Fire * 11 If You Dare To Dream * 12 Give In To The World * 13 All Is Gone

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.danieleliverani.com


Background
To be honest, I wasn't giving this album much of a chance when I first picked it up, and was considering giving it the old 'heave-ho'. I don't know why that was - perception probably. Well, I eat my words. This is pretty good actually. Not a stunner admittedly, but it is an album I will keep going back to, and I'm sure in time it will grow on me even more. And to me, that is definite proof in the pudding that Khymera can go on to bigger and better things. This is Khymera's second album. The debut appeared in 2003, with Daniele Liverani being the main source of inspiration behind it all. Back then, Kansas frontman Steve Walsh did all the lead vocal work. Two years later Dennis Ward, producer and bassist with German rockers Pink Cream 69 steps out in front and delivers all the vocals. That is a surprise, because Dennis sounds damn good! You'd think he had been doing it all his life!


The Songs
The album hasn't been completely penned by Liverani - he has bought in outside assistance. And some heavy-hitters have contributed some mighty compositions. The writing pair of Tom and James Martin (who were previously members of cult UK AORsters Sugartown) handle much of the work, while other contributions come in from Judithe and Robin Randall, Jeff Scott Soto and Don Barnes. Wow! Khymera kick off with an instrumental 'A New Promise', the excellent guitar work of newcomer Tommy Ermolli giving me something to think about. Hmmmm. First real track is 'Alone', sounding like a track that Spanish band 91 Suite left on the cutting room floor. Supremely melodic, a hint of commercialism with a shade of modern rock appeal. A great start. It gets better with the divine AOR of 'Looking For You'. It is a great slab of rock, with a neat change-up moment in the middle, the vocals of Ward standing out, and the choruses taking on a rich Def Leppard comparison. Surely a good thing? Moving into ballad territory is the track 'All That I Have', setting us up for the powerful 'The Damage Is Done', which really should've been a track set aside for Seventh Key. Ermolli giving us a very Mike Slamer like interpretation. The musical thread running through 'After The Way' feels familiar, very 80's sounding, so I'm happy! 'You Can't Take Me' takes on a tougher edge, and thats understandable considering this is Jeff Scott Soto's contribution. Still very melodic. The piano melodies come to the fore on the power-ballad 'Tomorrow Never Comes', completed by a soaring Ermolli solo. More 91 Suite flavoured AOR is the order of the day with 'Fields Of Fire'. The Randall's contribution is' If You Dare To Dream', and though good, seems out of place on this album I feel. Getting back into the melodic mainstream is 'Give In To The World' though a bit 'paint-by-numbers' admittedly. The album ends with 'All Is Gone', an atmospheric ballad that lets us down gently. Very nice.


In Summary
Apparently Khymera have now evolved into a full band situation, so that means Daniele could get this lot out playing live. That would be interesting to see how they take their advanced studio sound onto the stage. At least the songs are there so they should fare quite well. If you were a fan of the first Khymera album then no doubt you'll be picking this up. If you are new to the band, then throw a few bucks at this album. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. I certainly was. And like Deen Castronovo singing for Journey earlier in the year and blowing everyone away, the same applies to Dennis Ward. Guaranteed come 2006 or 2007 we'll be seeing a DW solo album. Count on it. And as for a new talent waiting in the wings, keep an eye on the name Tommy Ermolli. Keep that name very handy.


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


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Comments
#1 | jeffrey343 on December 16 2008 22:49:13
I listened to this and 'The Greatest Wonder' back to back on Rhapsody earlier this year, and TGW is the one I kept coming back to. But I've listened to this one more since then, and it is right up there. George didn't mention the great 'Let It Burn', which is my favorite of several superb tracks. It brings back memories of the hair-metal days of the late 80's and early 90's (although with better vocals than much of that stuff).
#2 | jeffrey343 on January 06 2009 16:27:30
'Looking For You' and 'After The Way' are also on the Don Barnes 'Ride The Storm' album. Both versions of each song are great, but I'll admit Don Barnes is like a god to me.
#3 | Jez on January 09 2009 02:30:01
The songs are ALL of a very good standard, but 'Looking For You' is the clear winner by far for me, although I will say that I still prefer the Don Barnes version from his unreleased album (although sonically this version is a mile ahead). Coming in 2nd place is the excellent 'Give In To The World' and bronze medal goes to the ballad 'Tomorrow Never Comes'.
Production is excellent,except maybe a little lacking in the drums department (a common problem nowadays - Why producers can't get drums to sound like they used to is beyond me in this day and age). Dennis Ward puts in a great vocal throughout and does a better job than Steve Walsh did previously.
 
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