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Rizengard - Chapter 21 CD (album) cover

CHAPTER 21

Rizengard

 

Neo-Prog

3.99 | 6 ratings

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memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Review originally posted at www.therocktologist.com

What a wonderful surprise by this mexican band!

And I say surprise because this was an unknown band to me, until for some reason their name appeared on my facebook so I wanted to explore more about them and found out they were already reviewed by some European colleagues with very positive words; so I wanted to do the same, but first I had to know their music, so thank you Christian Rizo and your mother for introducing me to Rizengard's music.

Their album "Chapter 21" was released last year (2012), containing 14 tracks that make a total time of 70 minutes of an exquisite blend or several progressive rock subgenres, so here you will have hints of symphonic rock, neo-progressive, some metal touches and even jazzy tunes. I feel guilty I didn't know them before in spite they are from my country, but well, now the less I can do is to share the word and invite people to listen to this Monterrey-based band.

It kicks off with "Parallel Roads The Twin Verses) which has a bombastic start with a tendency to metal, however, the first thing that caught my attention was the voice, because it is not the typical prog rock voice, here it has some touches of hip-hop, without being hip- hop, so the sound is peculiar. Then the music flows, we can appreciate bombastic keyboards solos while guitars, drums and bass mark the rhythm and perfectly complement the music. "Tanger" comes next with a different sound, a delicious track that adds a Spanish guitar and creates a rhythm full of cadence and sensuality at least for the first couple of minutes, later it changes a bit and keyboards put a more energetic sound, here in moments I remember A.C.T.'s Last Epic.

"This is (our time)" starts with electronic sounds on keyboards, like some futuristic tunes lying on a prog metal background, here I like the vocals and the rhythm, though when they appear the verses have the same structure, the sound is addictive instead of repetitive, so one can easily sing "time to stay in peace, with our mother earth", et all. Great compositional skills, I love how the most of the song is instrumental and vocals enter just when needed. The last two minutes have even more energy, so enjoy. The bombastic style continues in "Molokos", I love the energy the band shares and though I am not really keen on metal, here I don't have any problem, they offer high quality music that make my ears enjoy, though I want to clarify they are not really a prog metal band.

The reminiscence of A.C.T. at least in the vocals returned here, I am not comparing, I am just mentioning a reference of what you may find in "Changes (The Journey)". But in "Sacred Love (Inner Lilghts)" the music and style change a lot, the power ceases and here a soft blend of rock and jazz appear, with an extraordinary trumpet inclusion. I love this track by itself and also for its role in the album, I mean, it is like a healthy change, after all the energy spread in the previous tracks, it brings life and tranquility in order to start over again. Great bass lines and of course, excellent keyboards. "Magic" continues in the same soft vein, but this song is particularly special, I love how it puts images on my mind, so I can create my own story, the music just flows and let my have a great trip. Important to mention the inclusion of bagpipes, this of course puts a unique sound that makes the music even better.

The longest composition comes next, with 9 minutes, "Return" brings Rizengard to the map, a song like this can be easily loved by old and new prog rock fans due to its challenging sound and that mixture of sounds it offers. Three minutes pass and vocals enter, appearing after several tracks; first they appear with a soft sound, however seconds later they bring power and a sound totally oriented to metal, just like the music and its heavy riffs. "Fractal Disposition" has a more tense rhythm, it creates a rapid movement that makes me feel a bit nervous, but it is great, the music is simply well composed and performed, that's why it produces something on me.

"Mística noche" is a revulsive, since the very first seconds it starts powerful and bombastic, you can tell it by keyboards mainly, but also by guitars and drums. Here, for the first time, RIzengard decides to sing in Spanish, which is something I thank because I always prefer bands singing in their native language. "Luz en la oscuridad" has a softer rhythm at first, but later it flows and progresses until it reaches a climax. "Madretierra" is one of my favorite tracks here because it brings some folkish elements, like prehispanic flutes that reminds me of my ancestors rituals, I always love when bands include in their music some of their geographic roots, and manage to combine them with their own style, like in this case. Here bagpipes appear again, so it is a truly complete and interesting song. Great!

The last couple of tracks are "Sigo la luz" which is a soft and catchy track that in some way advises the journey is coming to its final stage.; and "Lullaby" is also the shortest track here, a song with acoustic guitar, nice keyboard atmosphere and a sweet and peaceful sound. And the album finishes here. I am happy with Rizengard's music, and I have to say that the album is really good, no matter its long length I never felt tired or bored I was always waiting for the next, so kudos for Rizengard, though it is not that memorable masterpiece, they did a great job and are working on it, they deserve a better worldwide exposure. My final grade will be 4 solid stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |

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