Label: Pure Steel Records
Date: March 12th, 2022
Six years after their latest release, Swiss melodic heavy/power metal band Rizon are back with “Prime Time”. After “Evolution” in 2005 came “Sudden Life” (2008) that led to “Masquerede” (2012) to “Power Plant” (2016). On “Prime Time”, Rizon is richer for one band member. Anastasia Panagiotou, greek formally trained vocalist enriched Rizon’s sound. If we look back at bands past, it is more than obvious they have had a lot of lineup changes. This time, spetet releases “Prime Time” that includes 12 songs. Bombshells in one word. Matthias Götz and Anastasia Panagiotou skillfully fit vocal capabilities. Although it is basically melodic metal album, the band flirts with happy metal sound, something closest to Freedom Call sound, also adding a bit heavier drum sections which balances well and holds the band not to cross the border of cheesy realm.
The first song that starts with some cartoonish intro, at the first listening , and even now, when I am listening to it for 134th time at least, is the song in which I hear verses or better to say some cult song titles like: ace of spades, the winner takes it all… But there are verses that are kind of my life moto:
“If you‘re gonna play the game
You gotta learn to play it right…”
This is an up-tempo song where Matthias Götz and Anastasia Panagiotou are playing the game well, and I am sure with cooperation like this, there will be no consequences, at least not bad ones.
“Rebel Heart” has to be rebellious, whether we talk about the lyrics, music or overall interpretation. Here Marco Küderli spices the song a bit and emphasizes dramatic moments. This song is so infectious and perfectly made for live performances.
“Torn” has a bit heavier sound and darker atmosphere. Actually, here you have duality. While Matthias Götz goes into a bit darker performance realm, Anastasia softens it and like they say, they are kind of torn between two worlds. Although the first part of the song is, as I already wrote, heavier and pumped up, the second part is a bit slower and even includes growling vocals.
“Fuckin’ Rock It” bught me with the choir but also with its lyrics. As I get it, this song might be dedicated to all the people who faced depression and it highly motivates all those who might think to give up.
“There are a million reasons to be down
But get up my friend, it‘s time to take the crown
For sure it‘s worth fighting for
Pick up the pieces, conquer the pain
We believe in you
Let the dream come true…
Never say die
This is the spirit… You‘ll fucking rock it…”
“Time Till Kingdom Come” is an acoustic piece that calms down a bit, and since the album contains 12 songs, yes, it might be the perfect timing to calm down the atmosphere and change the course.
“Save My Soul” brings back the energy. Rizon will not remain indifferent and for sure if they made 12 songs, they will not let you think the album is monotonous. They always surprise and here the biggest surprise is naraction part:
“Slowly awaking I come back to senses
I tremble all over my body feels numb
Still in daze I try to move
But I feel that I‘m weak, something ís wrong
I start to blink and open my eyes
The bright light turns into black shades
My hope fades
In a shattered land, shattered I am.”
In this song the guitar solo also stands out and might be the best one on the whole album.
In “Love Your Life” keyboards again dominate well interwoven with guitars and drumming. The song has a great rhythm that instantly urges your head to bang. Another song with highly motivated lyrics:
“Change your mind! – Love your life!
Enjoy the taste of freedom
Nothing‘s gonna last forever
Change your mind! – Love your life!
It ain‘t no superstition
Start today and tomorrow it‘ll be alright.”
“High Noon ” shows that Rizon is the band that could be easily classified as a masters of surprises. The song is the one that Bon Jovi would kill for if he would work on the “Blaze of Glory” album over 30 years later. Just saying…
“In The End” combines versatile vocal interpretations, tempos change, crushes with its heaviness well combined with melodic parts. Another amazing guitar solo is the highlight of this song.
“Back To The Game” is a fast tempo song with an infectious melody that leads us to the last third of the album. “Through The Fire” again is the song where vocal acrobatics dominates, and if you did not realize by now, Greek vocalist Anastasia Panagiotou is the perfect choice or better to say fresh blood for “old” Swiss band.
“Heaven’s Gate” is my personal favorite, where you will have served on plate all you expect from the great power metal song. And the lyrics that hit right where it hurts are perfectly chosen to close this album:
“Now you’re standing at the heaven’s gate
Pretending you‘ve been living like
a saint, not a sinner
We know you won‘t get in here
Standing at the heaven’s gate
Pretending to be innocent
You aspire to a place in heaven
We send you straight to hell.”
This album is the one that can not easily be classified as heavy or power or whatever metal. The most important thing – it is metal!