Grand Design

01. Get On With The Action
02. Change Me up
03. OughtoGraugh
04. You Love’s A Runaway
05. Stealin’ My Love
06. Let’s Rawk The Nite
07. Addiction For Love
08. Idolize Me
09. Rock Back To The 80s
10. You’re Gonna Dig On It

Pelle Saether - Vocals& Choirs
Peter Ledin - Guitar & Choirs
Dennis Vestman – Guitar & Choirs
Richard Holmgren – Drums & Choirs
Anders Modd – Bass

Time Elevation (2009)



Released 28/10-2011
Reviewed 9/10-2011


Decent but nothing to write home about, was what I wrote about Grand Designs debut that was released about two years ago. That album was called Time Elevation and was never elevated in any way by my review, I found it to be quite dull to be honest. This new album called Idolizer is the new offering by this band who are inspired by the eighties and Def Leppard. Funny thing is that another Swedish band with a grand name is releasing the second AOR Heaven album this month, Grand Illusion they are called so I came to wonder why Swedish bands like to have grande names because you cannot forget Grande Luxe who impressed the world with their amazing debut earlier this year. So is Grand Design the best grand band in Sweden? well read on and you’ll learn what I think.

“These guys sound like Def Leppard SHOULD be sounding these days” said some commenter to the album preview on the tube, that is one of the most idiotic things that can be said. I mean that Def Leppard are doing the music they SHOULD these days as they are doing music still, and they decide themselves how they should sound so statements like that just shows an inferior brain capacity from the commenter. Sure the band Def Leppard can be said to be similar to Grand Design, no denying that but that does not change the fact that Grand Design does the music they should and the same goes for any other band doing music, fans can never decide what bands should do, they always do the albums they should have done. I think we can add TNT, Gamma Ray, StormWarrior, and several other bands to the name dropping group for this band as well while were at it.

Musically they do play melodic rock with a production as impressive as the Grand Canyon and a sound that makes the cleanest mountain creek seem dirty. The music is guitar driven rock focused on the melodies and the catchy choruses, the singer Pelle Saether also known as a production helper for many AOR bands around keeps in the higher vocal ranges. I would say that he sounds like a Kai Hansen after inhaling helium or maybe as Lars Ramcke of StormWarrior after the same helium treatment. The songs are decently varied from classic rockers to rock ballads and some grand stuff, all kept within an established sound of course making the album varied yet coherent. It is an album with the tracks that is near fifty minutes long.

Compared to the debut Time Elevation this is a major step forward for Grand Design, the songs are just in a whole other level, where the Time Elevation songs were lacking identity the songs of Idolizer catches your attention and makes you want to sing along. There is energy and there is majesty and there is power and skill, I think you are comparing night and day if you are comparing Idolizer to Time Elevation. Idolizer is better in every way, even the cover artwork looks much better.

Well, not entirely in every way, I’ll get back to that later but first: the album starts out with Get on With the Action which is a great rocker with energy and a sound to catch your attention and it sets up a big sense of expectation for the rest of the album. I also think that the title track is a great and slightly different track with lots of interesting stuff going on. Also the ninth track called Rock Back to the 80s is a great track which not only show the band’s desire to go back in time but also is a wonderful track.

But there is one problem with this album for me, the vocals are not that great. I am not a fan of the helium kind of voice which is what Pelle Saether sounds like. Last album had better vocals which was the only thing that was better with that album, and I think that is such a shame considering that the songs are just so good. The helium vocals then comes in cutting through my ears like a scalpel cuts into the one receiving brain surgery. But seriously it is just a big negative on an otherwise brilliant album, I love the songs and everything but I am at the same time bothered by the vocals that just sounds terrible to be honest.

In the end it feels like a great album being slightly ruined by the heliumated vocals, but it is still a giant leap forward for the band as it is way better than the debut which had songs that were as fun as watching the paint dry. I would say that if the band strings all factors together they will make a wonderful album, this one though being terribly let down by the vocals is a good album that could have been so much better. Everything but the vocals is great, and there are at least two Swedish grand bands ahead of Grand Design in case you were wondering.





Label: AOR Heaven/GerMusica
Three similar bands:Big Life/Def Leppard/TNT
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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