|Khymera The Greatest Wonder||Frontiers Records|
This is the album that finds Kymera truly defining their own place in the world. After credible debut featuring vocalist Steve Walsh problems soon appeared forcing a switch of vocalist.|
The big surprise was the recruitment of Pink Cream 69 bassist and star producer Dennis Ward as vocalist. His raspy, yet sultry vocals suited the more straight ahead AOR direction of the New Promise album. That was another strong album, but it is The Greatest Wonder which I think nails the best style for these guys.
This third album sees the band, with Ward again out front, deliver the best group of songs to date, as well as defining their AOR sound that little bit further.
This is smoother, moodier and probably mellower than both previous albums and to my ears, the best of the three.
It is great to hear some classy AOR recorded in the way it deserves – a big sound, great even mix and still powerful despite being fairly laid back in style.
The 90 second intro doesn't make a lot of sense to me in the context of the rest of the album, but after that point, things are sheer melodic bliss.
Keyboards swirl, guitars deliver riffs to carry the songs and the rhythm section in particular is really driving the beat behind the melodies.
I haven't heard an album like this for quite some time. Without being groundbreaking, it is refreshing to hear this brand of pure, moody European AOR done so well.
The album is very consistent and the strength of the songwriting makes it hard to single out particular tracks.
I don't think there is a huge variation in style or tempo within the album, but in this case the strength of the songs and the manner in which they are delivered means that is a positive. However, if I was to mention personal highlights – the uptempo Borderline is really powerful European AOR and quite excellent.
Burn Out is dark and heavy during the chorus, giving it a real attitude; the slow and emotional Love Has Been And Gone highlights the more sentimental side of Ward's vocals; The Greatest Wonder has a little extra punch and a cool chorus; If I Can't Be has an almost Def Leppard layered vocal style that I like and Stay Forever has another instantly memorable chorus.
include("f-review.p3"); retrieve("khym-3",0,1); ?>