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Grand Design: Viva La Paradise
Grand Design - Viva La Paradise Music Review

Grand Design: Viva La Paradise

Melodic Heavy Metal
4.5/5.0

Formed some twelve years ago by vocalist and producer Pelle Saether, Grand Design returns with their fourth long player, Viva La Paradise. The album arrives with some newpersonnel in the band, bass player Stefan Westerlund (Rocket Love) and drummer Joakim Jonsson (Axenstar, Psychopunch).

Grand Design Band Photo

Grand Design

The Grand Design sound is straight forward: melodic heavy metal with a hard rock groove, then wrapped in AOR accessibility. The band knows the traditional elements of the genre like twin guitar harmony, soaring guitar solos, clean melodic vocals, and a rhythm section for punch and groove. With skill and precision, Grand Design weaves these elements with catchy melodies and memorable refrains for entertaining results. Perhaps the only difficulty in this mix is that Saether's voice gets overwhelmed by the music. That seems an odd conundrum for somebody who is both a vocalist and a producer.

Turning to some tunes, some straight up melodic metal rockers come with Face It, I Would Be The Wind, Too Late To Fall In Love, and Rawk 'N Roll Hysteria. They simmer with large harmonious riffage, strong groove, and killer solos. You'll find that some songs bump up the AOR groove, notably in the melody and chorus, such as Viva La paradise, U Can't Fool Love, or Love Shouldn't Hurt. There's not a ballad to be found across the album. But if there's something a tad lighter, it comes with Aim 4 The Heat. The song has a softer first half lighter electric guitar and voice, before enlarging to rock out after the midpoint. Honestly, excepting the diminished vocals, I liked everything about Grand Design's Viva La Paradise: this is solid and engaging AOR accessible melodic heavy metal, properly powered by hard rock groove. Recommended.



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The Bottom Line

Honestly, excepting the diminished vocals, I liked everything about Grand Design's Viva La Paradise: this is solid and engaging AOR accessible melodic heavy metal, properly powered by hard rock groove. Recommended.

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