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Articles Home » 2009 Articles » Grand Design - 2009 Time Elevation
Grand Design - 2009 Time Elevation

ARTIST: Grand Design
ALBUM: Time Elevation
LABEL: Metal Heaven
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Pelle Saether - vocals * Peter Ledin - guitars, backing vocals * Dennis Veldman - guitars * Anders Modd - bass * Richard Holmgren - drums, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Love Sensation * 02 Slugged Out * 03 Air It Out * 04 Piece Of The Action * 05 Sad Sound Of Goodbye * 06 No Time For Love * 07 Hello Mr Heartache * 08 Let's Go Down Fighting * 09 Sheik Iddup * 10 Love Will Know



A couple of months ago, I reviewed the New Jersey band Wildstreet, and commented on how Def Leppard had been resurrected properly in 2009. If The Lepps thought that they had been upstaged, imagine how Wildstreet feel, as they have now been upstaged by perhaps the best Lepp impersonators of them all - Swedish outfit Grand Design. Surprise to say, that the members of GD all have backgrounds in the Swedish HM scene, based around a number of bands. We tipped off the public about this outfit back in late July 2009 (refer our Weekly Spotlight page here... Soon after, AOR Heaven chimed in with a deal, and a few months later in Ocober 2009, 'Time Elevation' is the result. It's a beautiful record, well produced, and crafted with the same exquisite touch from Lepp's 'Hysteria' era. We've got well structured layered guitars, overdubbed vocal choruses made famous by Elliot and co, and easy on the ear songs that just dribble like candy from go to wo.

The Songs
Firing on all cylinders is the magnificent 'Love Sensation'. Mutt Lange - eat your heart out. Big sounding, booming drums and killer choruses. Yep, this is what it's all about.

Some clever guitar parts line the start for the second track 'Slugged Out', then the race is on as the track moves into the fast lane, with tough riffs and a tough chorus .. slug it out. Where's Rocky Balboa when you need him?

A mellow entrance precedes 'Air It Out', an (excuse the pun) air of restraint is held for the most part, though the chorus picks up noticeably.

'Piece Of The Action' might have you thinking this is a reworking of Aces High classic song, but no it's not. Grand Design carry this track in a similar vein though, huge on dynamics, vibe, and a simply killer guitar solo.

You'll be reviewing your Def Lepp catalog once you hear 'Sad Sound Of Goodbye', and wonder where you're hearing all the similarities. It's a majestic track, part power ballad, part rocker, but classy as hell. Again, that killer guitar during the middle..

The eerie atmosphere intro on 'No Time For Love' drops a veil over your consciousness, as it takes you on an arena rock journey fantasy for the best part of six minutes or less. Very well crafted track.

'Hello Mr Heartache' is another song to push the excitement meter a little higher. The pre-chorus (with it's power pop inclined drum work) and happy go lucky chorus are winners for me!

The best track is saved toward the end.. 'Let's Go Down Fighting' represents Grand Design's overall approach in total, a simply killer song, and one that will be on your brain for a while to come.

'Sheik Iddup' apart from the clever title, features a funkier groove though still sporting a powerful jab in the style of It's Alive or Eyes. This sounds as if it could've been written by Jeff Scott Soto, thank god it wasn't, otherwise the song could've been titled 'Sheik Iddup 4 Luv 2 Nite'!!

The final song is a sweeping acoustic ballad 'Love Will Know'. Not quite Aces High's 'Remember My Name', but still a wonderful acoustic piece nonetheless.

In Summary
When it's all said and done, this a disc that should head into most people's top 10 list for the 2009 year. You can forgive them for the Lepp tendencies, considering Elliot, Collen etc haven't released a decent album in years, and 'Hysteria' and 'Pyromania, their two best sellers are 22 and 26 years past due. Who needs the original when Grand Design do it so much better? For any dunce rockers out there complaining about the Lepp thing, let me make one thing clear. Quit whining. Go and pick on Kevin Chalfant and Hugo for apeing Steve Perry and making a career out of it. I'm sure there might be one or two albums that might nudge this one for album of the year, let's see what the last three months of the year have to show. In the meantime, the phrase 'buy or die' is resurrected once more.

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#1 | gdazegod on October 16 2009 03:05:58
Not so 'grande' about the album cover though, nor the logo..  no
#2 | Eric on October 17 2009 16:11:20
Angular and cold computer graphics run amuk. Oh how I long for the glory days of Roger Dean and Rodney Matthews....
#3 | gdazegod on October 24 2009 06:52:38
Damn classic stuiff.. still giving this album a rev..!
#4 | swazi on December 23 2009 23:57:19
Awesome, absolutely awesome! If you love Def Leppard ..... A must-have, imo!
#5 | roadrunner158 on January 15 2010 10:35:06
I seem to be in the minority, as I really can't warm to this cd. The songs fail to move me even after repeated listens. And why anyone would aim to copy the drumsound and -style of Hysteria is a mystery to me, as it's mainly a concession to Rick Allen's handicap.
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