Switzerland's Rizon is a big band, really, two vocalists, male and female, two guitarists, keyboardist, bass, and drummer, producing rather bombastic melodic power metal. Masquerade is their third album, the first with new female vocalist, Seraina Telli.
Being my first experience with Rizon, my suspicions were aroused about the relationship of the male/female vocals. Would they be gruff male vocals (read death or 'core') challenging the siren sound of the female vocals. Thankfully, not. Both sing clean. Generally, the Matthias Gotz has the lead role, with Telli supporting in harmony, as on Sigh From Eternity or the very pleasing Remotion. Sometimes, she gets to step up as on Tears of the Sun. Ultimately, the vocal partnership is annealed by the sound vocal arrangements.
As to the music, Masquerade is generally rousing traditional heavy metal, with good melodies and notable hooks as heard on Same Same or Rise On. Guitar work is at a premium, and there's enough appropriate synth solos to suggest they don't exist only for accent. Several songs are longer, including Rise On, Out of Nowhere and Lost in Silence, allowing Rizon to stretch themselves, even seem epic at times. The album also contains El Dios, a song sung in Spanish.
With 13 songs, Masquerade is quite the platter of melodic heavy metal to digest. By the time you get to Cold Winter's Night or Time After Time, you may suspect a little redundancy and, then, wonder if it couldn't have been trimmed down by one or two songs. But in the end Masquerade is solid and entertaining album, good European melodic power metal. Recommended.