While quite possibly not the most well-known guitarist from Europe, I suspect you may have heard of Rik Priem. He was the main guitarist for Kurt Vereeke's AOR project Frozen Rain and their second album 2012's Ahead Of Time. Now Priem hooks up with that band's lead vocalist, the veteran, Carsten 'Lizard' Schultz to create his own project Rik Priem's Prime.
Least to say, this self-titled debut album is a guitar-oriented album, with Priem's riffs and leads driving the songs. Yet, thanks to his experience, and probably the AOR nature of Frozen Rain rubbing off on him, his skilled guitar work is wrapped up in generally strong melodic song arrangements, though defintely on the heavier side, nearing metal. Both Hungry At Heart and Blindfolded are examples of catchy melodic numbers riddled with Priem's slick guitar leads. As for those leads and his style, one might call it solid mixture of classic hard rock and metal with a touch of the neo-classical. What I wished I would have heard is some influence from the blues. You might hear it within Looks Like Trouble, but that could be a stretch.
Fundamentally, as mentioned early, this album is a showcase for Priem's guitar skills. So, in one sense, there is little variation between songs (and may, for some, allow for monotony). Yet you might find some interesting parts besides all those leads. You may catch some subtle lighter breakdowns within the power metal of Child of Anger. Or the calliope keyboards at the beginning of In With The Freaks. Or the lighter guitar work in the early third of Kneel Before The Peices, the song closest to a ballad. Yet, in the end, it's all about Priem's brisk fret work. So if you dig an abundance of riffs and a boatload of solos flying from your speakers, Rik Priem's Prime is definitely for you.
Rik Priem's Prime is all about Priem's brisk fret work. So if you dig an abundance of riffs and a boatload of solos flying from your speakers, this album is definitely for you.
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