Prime Suspect is the latest in a series of ventures from songwriter and "multi-instrumentalist" Daniele Liverani (Empty Tremor, Genius, Twinspirits, Khymera). Apparently Liverani was unsatisfied with the direction Khymera was taking (Tom and James Martin had taken over the bulk of the songwriting there), so he put together a new band to record material that sounds...exactly like Khymera.
In addition to Liverani on keyboards, Prime Suspect features Khymera members Tommy Ermolli and Dario Ciccione, plus Headrush bassist Mauro Catellani. Vocals are provided by Dreamtide frontman Olaf Senkbell.
There's nothing remotely new on the Prime Suspect debut. If you heard any of the Khymera albums, you've essentially heard Prime Suspect, and Khymera wasn't terribly original to begin with. Still, what they lack in originality, Prime Suspect more than makes up for in sheer talent and polish. This is a very smooth, very polished melodic rock album that has some sweet guitar work, well put-together songs, and pristine production job. Not to mention the warm, emotional vocal performance from Senkbell, who always seemed overshadowed by Helge Engleke's guitar work in Dreamtide. He's front and center on this album, and it's his voice more than anything that carries the album.
It may not offer anything new, but Prime Suspect's debut is a totally enjoyable AOR/melodic rock album that should appeal to most fans of this kind of music. Fans of bands like Street Talk, Place Vendome, Crash the System and of course Khymera should definitely check this one out. It's still not clear what this means for the future of Khymera, but if that band ends Prime Suspect seems like a more than adequate replacement.