It seems to me like melodic Hard Rock is currently witnessing its umpteenth spring. MAGNUM have just given birth to an outstanding work, but bands that still are somewhat more unknown also come up trumps these days. I am talking about the Swedes GRAND ILLUSION who present a truly moving Hard Rock album with their now fourth album “Ordinary Just Won’t Do”. I hadn’t really been aware of these guys before, but the promo of the album just mentioned changed this dramatically.
The guys rock, and that thoroughly! You can describe the music on “Ordinary…” as a mix between melodic Hard Rock and Metal. Somehow my first thought while listening to the record went towards SKID ROW, which I am certainly not completely wrong with. Above-mentioned MAGNUM also seem to have impressed on the Swedes’ minds. In every case, there are almost only cool and also varied songs on “Ordinary Just Won’t Do”. The great melodies, sing-along choruses and easily memorable hooks are a special delicacy, of course. My favourites include the lively opener “Devil’s Advocate” (especially reminds me of SKID ROW), “New Beginning”, the pounder “Pull You Down” and “Love Lies Buried” which almost enters Speed Metal territory. But the remaining tracks are also all very catchy and just create a good mood. A real black-out can’t be discovered anywhere on the record. Joining the great songs is a very strong sound that was produced by Tommy Hansen (HELLOWEEN or PRETTY MAIDS among others). It is especially the guitars that rip thoroughly, so that rather calm (or somewhat more tear-jerking pieces) such as “Heaven Or Hell” or “Back To Yesterday” still rock thoroughly as well. Singer Peter Sundell has a powerful organ that can handle almost any register, which also helps the songs. Sometimes the Swede almost pushes into Rob Halford-like octaves. Surely one of the best of his kind.
Well, why should I go on praising them? This disc just convinced me and you can tell that from the fact only, that it has always been spinning in my car for the last days. The catchy, but nonetheless varied songs just don’t let you go again. Of course, “Ordinary Just Won’t Do” also has its somewhat tear-jerking moments sometimes which won’t appeal to everybody, but besides that we are dealing with a first-class Hard Rock album here. If you are into melodic Metal or, well, Hard Rock, you have to give this album a listen, that’s an obligation!!! No matter how you feel afterwards, GRAND ILLUSION have already found a new fan with me.
Check out tips: “Devil’s Advocate”, “New Beginning”, “Love Lies Buried”... (Online October 15, 2004)