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Masterplan - Aeronautics CD (album) cover




Prog Related

3.19 | 47 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Back for their sophomore.

Yes those German power metalers are back, and with a vengeance. The second album from the Helloween spin-off finds the band back in top form and still rocking. Following close on the heels of their last album in terms of sound we find that this band has incorporated a few new things into their sound. These being mainly that the album is really heavy and the album actually has a progressive moment or two in it. While the sound is still similar the most striking difference in this album and their first is that this one has far more contrast between the songs wile the first album had a very themed, almost linear sound. Switching between strait up speed and slow crunchy songs, this album is sure to delight fans of the first.

The album opens with the sound of a propeller starting and synths come in for a moment to introduce the listener to the album until they're blasted by the heavy riffs. CRIMSON RIDER opens with a bang, showing the audience that the band has capitalized on what made them great on the first album -- strong vocals backed by a powerful, competent band. This doesn't let down, especially in the speedier songs such as WOUNDS (a song similar in style to that of ''Kind Hearted Light'' from the debut) and I'M NOT AFRAID.

Also interesting about this album is the apparent homage to former Helloween-er Kai Hansen and his band Iron Savior. AFTER THIS WAR is somewhat a cover of the Iron Savior song ''After The War''. The lyrics have been changed slightly as well as the melody, making this more of a tribute than a cover, but the song is good none the less. Even if it is one of the weaker moments on the album it's always interesting to see bands showing respect for one another.

A couple of the slower songs on the album certainly lead to show a more interesting side of the band. Starting with the album's lead single, BACK FOR MY LIFE, the album hosts a multitude of midpaced and slower songs that show that the band are quite good with that kind of diversity. While some of the slower songs on their debut came out as weaker than the rest, here they're actually fairly strong. The leading single of the album is somewhat of a twisted love song with a catchy chorus and good guitar licks courtesy of one Mr. Roland Grapow. Other excellent songs in the same style occur from here on in, including the Gothic love story, HEADBANGER'S BALLROOM. Perhaps not for the prog of heart, this song tells the tale of two kids who find love in one another away from the strangleholds of society. Featuring some great heavy-metal waltz music at the solo, this is one for the lonely hearted. FALLING SPARROW is another highlight, a slow crunchy rocker with a very melodic chorus.

The band also gets the chance to dabble in the prog-metal fields, if briefly. DARK FROM THE DYING is a short attempt at capturing some of the essence of Prog, bt it doesn't really make it. It's really just one of those songs that seems way longer than it actually is, but still features some very excellent vocals by Lande. Where the band really captures prog (if for a moment) is the coda track BLACK IN THE BURN. Bordering on the short side of 10-minutes, this is a track that the prog-metalers should love. Starting with some haunting pianos the song explodes into motion as Lande's vocals push the guitars over the top into some truly magnificent musical fireworks highlighted by some very impressive (if maybe Helloween styled) guitar solos. This is where everything comes together -- the crunchy guitars mix with the frantic pace of the drumming and keys coupled with a very melodic chorus to create what can only be described as Materplan's opus.

With a number of highlights and a few misfires this album is definately an interesting one. 3 stars, good but not essential to your prog collection. Recommended to fans of Progressive metal (even if this isn't part of the genre), Helloween fans, power metal fans.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


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