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Masterplan - Novum Initium Award winner

Novum Initium
by Katarzyna Zakolska at 23 May 2013, 1:27 PM

MASTERPLAN is a Heavy / Power Metal band from Hamburg, Germany. The band was originally formed by ex-HELLOWEEN members Roland Grapow (guitar) and Uli Kusch (drums) in 2002. Along with the Norwegian vocalist Jorn Lande, the band released 3 studio. Three years after their last effort, the multinational melodic metallers are about to release their fifth full-length album entitled "Novum Initium" via AFM Records with new line-up. New drummer, Martin "Marthus" Skaroupka (CRADLE OF FILTH), renowned singer Rick Altzi (AT VANCE, SANDALINAS, THUNDERSTONE), who replaced Jorn Lande and bassist Jari Kainulainen (STRATOVARIUS, SYMFONIA, DEVIL'S TRAIN, ex-EVERGREY). As you can see, this is a lineup of veterans.

The intro, “Per Aspera Ad Astra”, opening the album, is a fantastic sounding short instrumental with orchestral elements. “The Game”, the album's debut single has the fine Euro Symphonic Power Metal feel with a great melodic chorus singing in high altitudes of sound, diverse rhythm sections that might indicate of progression, commendable soloing and keyboards playing “Keep Your Dream Alive” caught me with its chorus, when a touching atmosphere mixed well with stronger riffs and the wall of keyboards played by Axel Mackenrott. “Betrayal” is an impressive melodic Metal effort bearing powerful riffs and a magnificent solo, though common to the band, yet still blasting. “Black Night Of Magic” is an energetic scorcher in the vein of STRATOVARIUS, immensely memorable with its chorus, Power Metal by the book. Title track. “Novum Initium”, is an epic song providing the band's wits on producing tremendous Power Metal along with progressive elements and a few orchestral arrangements. “No Escape”, a fantastic blending great melodies of sheer Power Metal force. “Return From Avalon” strikes as an epic Heavy Metal classic like the best of them. “Earth Is Going Down” a bit more symphonic orchestrated integrated low tuned guitaring and complex rhythms. “Pray On My Soul”, a soft induced tracker with enticing halo of keyboards, same goes with the balladry of “Through Your Eyes” where there is also an awesome guitar work of rhythm and lead.

MASTERPLAN didn't lose their touch, even with this so called refreshed lineup, still composing catchy melodies and epic features. Every song on this album is made solid and very enjoyable to listen. Therefore, the changed line-up wasn't a bad idea after all. Surely fans of Power Metal wouldn't be disappointed by MASTERPLAN.

4 Star Rating

1. Per Aspera Ad Astra
2. The Game
3. Keep Your Dream Alive
4. Black Night Of Magic
5. Betrayal
6. No Escape
7. Pray On My Soul
8. Earth Is Going Down
9. Return From Avalon
10. Through Your Eyes
11. Novum Initium
Rick Altzi - Vocals
Roland Grapow - Guitars
Axel Mackenrott - Keyboards
Jari Kainulainen - Bass
Martin "Marthus" Skaroupka - Drums
Record Label: AFM Records


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