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Articles Home » 2008 Articles » Khymera - 2008 The Greatest Wonder
Khymera - 2008 The Greatest Wonder

ARTIST: Khymera
ALBUM: The Greatest Wonder
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2008


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

TRACK LISTING: 01 Ablaze * 02 Beautiful Life * 03 Borderline * 04 Burn Out * 05 Since You Went Away * 06 Love Has Been And Gone * 07 No Sacrifice * 08 The Greatest Wonder * 09 Fight For Yesterday * 10 If I Can't Be * 11 Love Will Find You * 12 Stay Forever * 13 The Other Side



It took a few albums to get the recipe right, but Italian keyboardist Daniele Liverani can be proud of his third and latest effort 'The Greatest Wonder'. The footprint was laid down on 2005's 'A New Promise'. Three years later it is accentuated ever further. Dennis Ward continues as vocalist, the Martin brothers Tom And James (formerly with AOR band Sugartown) continue in their songwriting capacity, and guitarist Tommy Ermolli continues to impress. The song material I feel is more refined, I guess after three albums it's all about fine-tuning, and I reckon Daniele and his entourage have got it right on 'The Greatest Wonder'. Is it me, but does Dennis Ward have a Joe Elliott vocal thing going on? I'm listening to these songs and I swear I can hear Joe drift through the mix. Perhaps it is the ghost of 1987 drifting through my ear-drums all over again! Whatever the case, if he and David Readman ever have to decide who is gonna sing lead with PC 69 I don't wanna be around when the fur flies! lol! Elsewhere, Liverani's keyboard layers and textures are near perfect, while Ermolli adds the firepower with ample melodic intent. I was impressed with him on 'A New Promise' - nothing changes here! As a whole, there is some similarity to Larry Leon's outfit Big Mouth, who released an excellent set in 1997 called 'Hands Of Time'

The Songs
The press have lumped Khymera into a bucket called 'European AOR' - which I think is a bit of cop-out really. The music is quite sophisticated, and can hold it's own irrespective of origin or market. The good thing with the album is for thirteen tracks you get value for money - which is something I can't say for many recent releases. I'd be hard pressed to pin-point any highlights because the entire album is really good. If I was pushed to select a few, then 'Love Has Been And Gone' would be one, the title track 'The Greatest Wonder' has a Zinatra feel to it, while 'Beautiful Life' contains some terrific keyboard lines. Dipping into recent era Harem Scarem territory is 'Fight For Yesterday' while 'Love Will Find You' really is an AORsters wet dream!

In Summary
There's not a lot to dislike on this album. I tried hard to find some filler but came up short. That in itself says something about the quality of this album. A couple of years ago, I gave Frontiers the thumbs up with their roster and some strong albums being released, but then they went and spoiled it with some duffer albums (anyone remember that Zion disaster?). At the start of 2008, the label has got out of the blocks in good fashion. May they continue the trend with some good consistent releases during 2008. Certainly, Khymera will be joining me on a few road trips in the truck over the next few weeks. An excellent set, recommended to AORsters wherever you are in the world.

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#1 | jeffrey343 on June 17 2008 16:04:29
This is available on Rhapsody, and I've been playing it quite a bit the past couple of weeks. Great, great stuff. I'll be buying this one for sure. With new releases like this coming out, I feel pretty good about our genre.
#2 | george_the_jack on June 28 2008 17:25:33
Very good album approaching perfection but I have to admit that it has not stood the test of time for me...After 10 spins wore out and the enthusiasm left. Still a good release in 2008. I'm waiting for the next step of Daniele Liverani now.
#3 | roadrunner158 on December 10 2008 15:51:34
To me, this is a step back when compared to 'A New Promise'. The songs simply are not as strong IMO. Maybe my expectations were too high... Still, a good effort.
#4 | Jez on January 09 2009 01:01:34
My initial suspicions earlier last year when I got this, were very favourable indeed, but I had a sneaking feeling that by the end of the year, this one was going to be a little forgotten about and lost in the pile of other quality releaes that we have been treated to all year.Luckily those suspicions were proven to be completely wrong and to be honest, it stands shoulder to shoulder with some of the best releases of last year. Consistent as hell throughout, great production from the impressive Dennis Ward and just about 100% the way I like my AOR to sound. Definitley Khymera's best disc so far, and hopefully they will produce another one up to the very very high standards of this one.
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