GRAND DESIGN – Thrill Of The Night [Japan Edition +2] (2014)

GRAND DESIGN - Thrill Of The Night [Japan Edition +2] (2014) full

When released, Swedes’ GRAND DESIGNThrill Of The Night” was easily one of the best of that year, and this Japanese Edition featuring 2 bonus tracks really worth the investment.
I love Grand Design. That’s it.
Accused of being a Def Leppard clone, truth is this talented combo are pure Melodic Hard Rock. And if you are fan of the genre, you can’t resist their terrific catchy melodies.

Early 2014 Grand Design started working on this third album, which has definitely taken the band to a whole new level, musically, song wise and regarding production. The album is packed with anthemic hits and choruses that you will wake up in the middle of the night singing. Sorry about that, but that’s how it is.

Of course, there are certain Leppard-ish elements to this album and it doesn’t really take a longtime fan’s well-trained ear to notice them. But even though the melody line of feisty melodic rocker “Rawk N Roll Heart Attack” may remind you a bit of ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’, not even to mention the ‘wall of sound’ vocal harmonies in every single track – it’s still more of an inspiration than emulation.

And still, not only Def Leppard but the entire ‘80s melodic rock / hair metal scene was about big choruses led by powerful group chants, the Sheffield-based quintet being just the confirmation of the general rule.

These larger-than-life vocal harmonies, which are perhaps the strongest point also to the Grand Design’s now trademark style, are especially perspicuous in the dramatic mid-tempo “The Rush Is Gone” or Erik Mårtensson co-penned party anthem “Who’s Gonna Rawk You Tonite.”

And the band, it seems, aren’t eager to look back too much anyway, as alongside modern production also the guitar riffs on the album are far from sounding dated, as in “U Got Me Good” or “10 Outta Ten.”

Squeezed between straightforward melodic rock up-tempos, “When The Greatest Love Of All Kicks In” is a wonderful power ballad crafted with the intention of tugging at listener’s heartstrings.
And although there is much to be said about the blistering lead guitar work that enriches the track, it’s not the sole highlight of the entire record, as every melodic rock fan will surely find themselves reveling also in killer hook of “Rip Iddup” or the deliberate infectiousness of the eponymous song’s choruses.

The Japanese bonuses are the multi-layered “Baby It’s You” (a fun cover of the seventies Canadian group Promises) featuring Susi Päivärinta from the ’80s rock&pop act Lili & Susie on guest vocals, and “Fallen Hero”, another cover, but this time from US ladies Vixen, with rollicking arrangements and bombastic production.

GRAND DESIGN - Thrill Of The Night [Japan Edition +2] (2014) back

Grand Design is a name to be reckoned with in modern-day melodic rock scene, and their reputation is certainly a well-earned one. “Thrill Of The Night” portrays the Swedes’ return in great form, again following the formula perhaps predictable, but nevertheless mastered by them to the point of perfection.

The songwriting is better than never this time with the outside help of talented Erik Mårtensson (Eclipse, W.E.T) on a couple of tracks. Production, again by singer Pelle Saether, is big, ballsy, anthemic enough to probably make even John ‘Mutt’ Lange proud.
“Thrill Of The Night” is damn catchy record, and if you love the genre, it’s a mandatory addition to your melodic rock album collection.

Rubicon Music Japan ~ RBNCD-1176

01 – U Got Me Good
02 – Rawk ‘n’ Roll Heart Attack
03 – The Rush is Gone
04 – 10 Outta 10
05 – When the Greatest Love of All Kicks in
06 – Rip Iddup
07 – Get Up ‘n’ Luv Someone
08 – You’re the Only One
09 – Who’s Gonna Rawk U Tonite
10 – Thrill of the Nite
11 – Baby It’s You
12 – Fallen Hero

Pelle Saether – Vocals
Janne Stark – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Dennis Vestman – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Mats Vassfjord – Bass
Magnus Ulvstedt – Drums, Backing Vocals
Susi Päivärinta – guest vocals on “Baby It’s You”


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