Frontiers [Release date 06.03.20]
Album number five from Khymera, who started out as an alliance between Italian producer & musician Daniele Liverani and then Kansas singer Steve Walsh. Khymera has since developed into a regular musical project when bassist and producer Dennis Ward (Magnum, Pink Cream 69) joined.
It has been five years since ‘The Grand Design’ album, with Dennis Ward (vocals, bass) joined by Michael Klein (guitars), Pete Newdeck (drums) and Eric Ragno (keyboards) on this latest album.
Opener ‘Walk Away’ rides in on a parpy keys and guitar riff, then we are off and rocking. This is typical Khymera, with an instant chorus and melody, topped off by Dennis Ward’s vocals. He will certainly prove to be a canny addition to the Magnum ranks given his production, playing and singing talents.
‘Follow The Sun’ recalls those sounds beloved of Mike Slammer produced albums, namely big layered backing vocals and precise, melodic guitar riffs. It really does hit the musical spot nicely.
The title track even has a hint of ELO about in the sign off strings/synths part, one of the album’s ‘go to’ songs. Like much of the album it is keyboards led recalling the halcyon days of bands like Guiffria and mid-80s Journey, albeit with a modern sound.
Of course there are ballads, ‘Father To Son’ has it all from the impassioned vocals of Dennis Ward through to the grandiose arrangements.
Khymera have hit the target again with an uplifting album of melodic rock gems. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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