Khymera initially began life as a project put together by Italian producer/musician Daniele Liverani and the Kansas vocalist Steve Walsh but it became more of a fully functioning band when bassist Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69/Unisonic and now Magnum) came on board as vocalist for the second album. Although only the backing vocalist in Pink Cream 69, Ward took on the singing duties with Khymera and, as with Phil Collins, his development into a lead vocalist was nothing short of revelatory. His range and power is exception and his voice is perfectly suited to hard edged melodic rock. It was back in 2003 that their eponymous debut was released with lengthy periods between subsequent new albums and now we, belatedly, have album number five which maintains the great form shown on 2015’s The Grand Design. There has now been another shuffle in the line-up with Ward using the opportunity to refresh the team and to bring a new dynamic to the band. Ward remains as the front man and bassist with guitarist Michael Klein, Eric Ragno on keyboards and Pete Newdeck on drums completing the new look.
Master Of Illusions is a classy and smooth melodic rock album that has all the attributes required in AOR as well has having the power to propel them into hard rock territory. The guitar work of Michael Klein is exceptional with his hard hitting riffs and fluid and emotion filled solos giving added depth to a sound that is already rich and complex. The strength of the songs mark Ward as a writer of great depth and perception and his blending of the subtleties of melodic rock with the power of hard rock is incredible.
Master Of Illusions is an album full of soaring ballads, lush and rich harmonies and with some quite exceptional guitar and when combined with the remarkable voice of Dennis Ward then you have something quite magical. This is a perfect example of new and fresh melodic rock from a superior band making its own waves and showing that there is far more talent in the melodic rock genre than you can imagine.