posted on 3/2003 By:
Masterplan has been touting this release ever since both Uli Kusch and Roland Grapow “left” Helloween. I have been waiting for it ever since I saw on Grapow’s website that you could submit your suggestions for the name of their new band (I didn’t submit the name Masterplan, but I like it nonetheless). Now that it’s finally here, I am somewhat impressed. What they have come out with is sort of a mix between Edguy and Helloween, but with much more of a progressive feel than a power metal feel. It all comes together pretty well, and like I said, I am somewhat impressed. There is a lot of keyboard usage here, which is good for Masterplan. The singer sounds like a mix between, Tobias Sammet (Edguy, Avantasia), Bruce Dickinson (duh), and Blaze Bayley (ex-Maiden, Blaze), and even RJ Dio (Dio, of course). The singing can get a little soft-rock sounding at times, but when he really gets into it, it’s some of the better power metal singing I’ve heard. Obviously the guitars are impeccable, seeing as Roland Grapow was in Helloween, arguably the best power metal band of all time. One thing about this CD is something I must warn you about. It is INCREDIBLY catchy. Especially track 2, “Enlighten Me”, for some reason it bored into my head like a tick and wouldn’t release. I love how the heaviness of the guitars can switch to a killer power-metally solo, then right back again. This heaviness/”power-metally-ness” may be due to the fact that it was produced by Andy Sneap (Testament, Machine Head, etc), and it was mixed by Mikko Kamilla (Stratovarius, Edguy). Their influence is somewhat apparent here. Anyone who knows about Kusch and Grapow’s ejection from Helloween knows that this release has been in the works for some time, and it doesn’t disappoint. It won’t absolutely blow you away, but it was pretty “bombastic”, as Kusch describes it. I can almost guarantee that Helloween fans will thoroughly enjoy this.
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