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Articles Home » 2014 Articles » Priem, Rik (and Prime) - 2014 Rik Priem
Priem, Rik (and Prime) - 2014 Rik Priem

ARTIST: Priem, Rik (and Prime)
ALBUM: Rik Priem's Prime
LABEL: Avenue Of Allies
SERIAL: 14-02-0061
YEAR: 2014
SPONSOR: Avenue Of Allies


LINEUP: Rik Priem - guitars, bass (6) * Carsten Schulz - lead vocals * Geert Margodt - keyboards * Vincent De Laat - bass * Ramy Ali - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sunset Over Agartha * 02 Babylon Rising * 03 The Future Is Now * 04 Hungry At Heart * 05 Blindfolded * 06 Chameleon (instr) * 07 Flirting With An Alien * 08 Kneeling Before The Pieces (Of A Broken Heart) * 09 In With The Freaks * 10 Looks Like Trouble * 11 Run Angel Run * 12 Bloodrush * 13 Child Of Anger



This is the second offering from Avenue Of Allies for 2014: Belgian guitarist Rik Priem, and his project band Prime. Rik came to our attention on that other Belgian project from a few years back: Frozen Rain. His style is very distinctive, with lots of vibrato. Unique. On his first solo project, he's hooked up with Carsten Schulz, a German singer with plenty of runs on the board with other bands (Evidence One, Domain, Midnite Club) plus German drumer Ramy Ali (Frontline, Julian Angel & Beautiful Beast). The other two roles falling to Belgians Gaert Margodt (keys) and Vincent De Laat (bass). Upon first hearing, I didn't quite get into this album on the first hop. It took a few listens, and you really have to focus on what's being presented here.

The Songs
The symphonic opening to 'Sunset Over Agartha' sounds like the work Queen did on The Highlander material. Priem soon makes his presence felt with some pressing solos, before we punch into track two 'Babylon Rising'. It's a rock 'n rumble affair, and it's here that we encounter Schulz' vocal for the first time. Carsten sounds great on some tracks, while on others it doesn't work so well. He's great on the lower register stuff, but less so when the music moves into the upper realms. 'The Future Is Now' is fairly blustery melodic rock, with a hint of 1st Avenue but not quite as good. Things kick into high gear with the boisterous 'Blindfolded'. Lots of OTT keyboard and guitar work. It's definitely heavy-handed, but it kinda works. The carnival like organ intro to 'In With The Freaks' is cool, until the door is burst open with some big sounding hook and riffs. The power of 'Bloodrush' is also hard-hitting, containing a galloping rhythm a la Iron Maiden.

In Summary
Overall, I like what Rik has on offer. It's quite a bombastic style which works well, but it doesn't quite have the correct elements to make a cohesive whole. A singer with a clean operatic tenor would make this material soar ( a guy like Tony Niva for instance), but at the moment it's struggling to get out of third gear. Schulz's vocal I can tolerate to a certain point, but it's not really suited here, and as mentioned, they need a guy who can really hit the high notes. The keyboard work tends to the more earthy tones of organ. It fits well, but I can imagine if some racy synths were included, the songs would really shine. A good debut, but I'd like to see some changes before album #2 is released.

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