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Grand Design – Viva La Paradise [2018]

“Viva la Paradise” is the new album from Swedish melodic hard rock band Grand Design reemerging after a four years absence. The new album will be release (excluding Japan) on April 20th, 2018 through GMR Music while the Japanese release is scheduled for April 11th via Rubicon Music. Since their debut Grand Design have been often compared to “Def Leppard” due to their unmistakable vocals, hugely produced rhythm section and razor sharp melodic guitars. Indeed, Grand Design prove themselves “Def Leppard” on steroids, capturing the `leppard’ essence and turning it to eleven through flamboyant melodies (both vocal and instrumental), devastating rhythm section, super-infectious choruses and undeniable performance intensity.

The line up once again features lead singer Pelle Saether, guitarists Janne Stark and Dennis Vestman join by bass player Stefan Westerlund and drummer Joakim Jonsson. Really, it is almost entertaining how this group of seasoned musicians proves capable of consistently delivering outstanding melodic glam rockers, namely “Aim 4 the Heart”, “Don’t Ice me Out”, “Face It”, “It’s Only Straight from the Heart” and “Rawk N Roll Hysteria”.

By the time you press play you will be ‘confronted’ by “Leppard’s” signature drum beat, followed by melodic bridges to conclude into infectious pop metal choruses. Lead singer Pelle sounds like the perfect blend of Joe Elliot and Tony Harnell putting a very harmonized/melodic performance plus copious amounts of backing/choir like vocals. A considerable differentiation however is to be found on the subject of guitars. Axemen Denis and Janne add fair amounts of guitar parts and quite extensive yet melodic guitar solos.

The new Grand Design album is a very compete offering combining the best elements of the AOR/hard rock genre through impeccable musical performance. The production of “Viva la Paradise” perhaps deviates from conventional melodic hard rock, as the guitars are brought to front, dominating the biggest part of the instrumental foreground. The Grand Design’s new album is so well planned that leaves no room for average tracks. If you are a fan of 80s “Def Leppard” or 80s arena hard rock in general, Grand Design is an incredibly safe option for buying…

Band Members
Pelle Saether – Vocals
Janne Stark – Guitar
Dennis Vestman – Guitar
Stefan Westerlund – Bass
Joakim Jonsson – Drums

Tracks
01. ‘Face It’
02. ‘Rawk ‘N’ Roll Hysteria’
03. ‘Viva La Paradise’
04. ‘Don’t Ice Me Out’
05. ‘Aim 4 The Heart’
06. ‘I Would Be The Wind’
07. ‘Love Shouldn’t Hurt’
08. ‘It’s Only Straight From The Heart’
09. ‘Too Late To Fall In Love’
10. ‘U Can’t Fool Love’
11. ‘Fight Fire With Fire’ (Kansas cover) *

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Grand Design - Viva La Paradise [2018], 8.0 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
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