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Masterplan - Masterplan CD (album) cover




Prog Related

3.76 | 52 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Yet another Helloween love-child.

Masterplan, the remnants of German Heavy Metal Masters - Helloween as of 2001. Guitarist Roland GRAPOW and drummer extraordinare Uli KUSCH form the side project that they'd wanted to do prior to Helloween's 2001 album The Dark Ride and are ready to attack the market with former Yngwie Malmstien vocalist Jorn LANDE... and some other guys. 'What's it going to sound like then?', some might ask, being that the two were fired from Helloween after 'The Dark Ride' because their influence in the band was too great, resulting in a controversial album. 'The Dark Ride Vol. 2', then? No. Not at all. The result here is quite different. Euro Power Metal with a hint of prog (more on the next album than this one, however). Onto the music, shall we?

Characterized by heavy riffs, tight drumming and superb vocals, Masterplan's debut is sure to please the head-bangers. SPIRIT NEVER DIE is a dark, yet positive track that sets the mood while the first single ENLIGHTEN ME takes more advantage of Lande's excellent vocals. KIND HEARTED LIGHT and SAIL ON see a more speed metal oriented side of the band with some blinding guitar work by Grapow, while SOULBURN and CRYSTAL NIGHT both see a darker, more reflective side of the supergroup. the latter two mentioned definitely smell of prog.

Where the group really shine, though, is the combination of both styles. CRAWLING FROM HELL, BLEEDING EYES and INTO THE LIGHT, to be specific, combine the styles mentioned above to made for some very good music. WHEN LOVE COMES CLOSE is also excellent and ends the album with a bang, Lande's vocals prevailing on that one.

But ah, who could forget HEROES. Former Helloween vocalist Michael KISKE comes out of his heavy-metal retirement (having resigned to AOR) to let the blimpish lungs cry out the metal once more, and what a job they do. We're the heroes of a new world, the masterplan's rising out dreams will come true screams Kiske as he and Lande combine their voices to make a heavenly chorus of two of the best metal singers to ever grace the land. Amazing song... Kiske... if you're reading this... the metal world needs you back! (Rumor has it, though, that he's working on a project with Grapow and other former Helloween-er Kai HANSON... metalheads have your ears tuned for that.)

So what's the rating for this excellent album?

Three stars ('What!?' cry the readers) for a good album. Will prog heads like this album? Maybe... if you have a thing for Prog Metal (which these guys happily sit on the border of) you'll enjoy it quite a bit. What about those who don't like prog metal? Dodge this one, you'll likely not like it. Recommended to Helloween followers, Kiske followers, metal-heads and prog-metal-heads.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


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