KHYMERA - THE GREATEST WONDER (2008, FRONTIERS)
Daniele Liverani - keyboards, bass
Dennis Ward - bass, vocals
Tommy Ermolli - guitars
Dario Ciccioni - drums
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 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!
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!
02 Beautiful Life
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
Khymera - 2003 Khymera
Khymera - 2005 A New Promise
Khymera - 2008 The Greatest Wonder
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