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Masterplan - Aeronautics (CD)

by Grigoris Chronis at 16 February 2005, 12:10 PM

The ingredients: a) A band featuring great musicians with 'solid' experience in some of the best Teutonic Power Metal acts ever, b) a debut album undeniably proving what these gentlemen can carry out, c) a 'valued' singer with a gracious voice of unlimited aptitude. Let's do the mix, for the 'follow-on' product… Ggggvvvrrrrrrrrrmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… Mister, your Aeronautics dinner is ready and it tastes sooo good!
I always considered it a smart move, Grapow and Kusch half-raising the middle finger to Mr. Ego (Take 'Em Down) and trying to build a new career. Still, tuff luck awaits around the corner for the average band-to-be seeking for a good quality vocalist. (Re)still, both guys can be named anything but 'average', since fate was merciful and pretty boy (and even 'prettier' Norwegian singer) Jorn Lande (Ark, Beyond Twilight, Millennium, Y. Malmsteen) was eager - and available - to 'fit in' the Master Plan. Thus - with the addition of Jan S. Eckert and Axel Mackenrott - the band's self-titled debut album (Michael Kiske participating in one track, I think…) was no less than a remarkable, 'vivid' Euro Power/Prog Metal piece of art, receiving enormous feedback in the Metal world. Still (again?), no 'solid' evidence existed regarding the group's future status (the well-known 'one-record project' story). Fortunately, the preceding Back For My Life EP was released in November 2004 plus the beginning of 2005 has good news for our ears, with Masterpaln's successor now hitting the stores with might!
Aeronautics features all the elements that build up a great today's Euro-ProgMetal album. Produced by Andy Sneap & Masterplan in the Crazy Cat Studio in Hamburg and mixed at Finnvox Studios in Helsinki by Mikko Karmila, the album features a total of eleven tracks truly, elegantly composed (Roy Z gave a helping hand in a couple of songs) under the general concept of (I would say) aeroplanes. A solid rhythm section gives the perfect pace for Roland to unveil his endless charisma of creating such simple yet unique melodies, not to mention Jorn Lande whose spectacular performance justifies why he's considered among the Top 3 Norwegian Voices of our times. Grapow is heard in my ears as a little bit more on the Progressive side (always in comparison to his Masterplan work), while Lande supplies most of the Power (really, what a wonderful combination of two different styles). I'd still like Mr. Mackenrott to have a little bit more 'room' but what the hell?!? The result is obviously entertaining and familiar, not in a 'safe' way but more in an I-know-what-and-how-to-play mode.
Conclusion: A great album by a great band. Both thumbs up! If you enjoyed Masterplan, you'll definitely have to grab Aeronautics. If you didn't have the chance to hear the 2002's debut, simply get Aeronautics and then grab Masterplan. There's no escape, you 'll spend your money either way!

4 Star Rating

Crimson Rider
Back For My Life
I'm Not Afraid
Headbanger's Ballroom
After This War
Into The Arena
Dark From The Dying
Falling Sparrow
Black In The Burn
Roland Grapow - Guitars
Jorn Lande - Vocals
Uli Kusch - Drums
Jan S. Eckert - Bass
Axel Mackenrott - Keyboards
Record Label: AFM Records


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