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Masterplan - Time To Be King

Masterplan
Time To Be King
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 20 June 2010, 9:06 AM


In most of the cases I do not like re-unions or "noisy" returnes. But with MASTERPLAN things are pretty different since the "MK II" release had a weak connection to the previous albums. Not that Mike DiMeo was not a proper substitution to Jorn Lande; on the contrary he did an excellent job in that album and also served the band on the tour that followed meeting the high vocal demands of MASTERPLAN's music. But they could not escape Jorn's trademark reading that has gained a lot of fans during the last five years or so. Additionally Grapow seems to work better in the studio without having to worry about the lyrics that is also Jorn's job.

The album opens with a powerful keyboard groove followed by the distinct vocals by Jorn looking back to the bands debut and self titled release. This track defines MASTERPLAN's musical identity with catchy melodies, killer guitar work (I love the main riff here) that often touch the European Power Metal sound. Once again I have to state that this is the original MASTERPLAN sound that we all loved driven by the charismatic vocals of Lande. The mid tempo of "Blow Your Winds" and the massive bass guitar sound give the definition to the term 'groovy' while the chorus will set anchor to your mind after the very first listening. The highlight of the album is by far "Lonely Winds Of War"; the pompous orchestration and the wonderful main melody -that sounds familiar to my ears in a strange way- pays an unofficial tribute to the departed legendary Metal singer Dio with hard hitting keyboards and once again impressive guitars.

The distinct keyboard lines are "responsible" why the term Power Metal does not fully adequately describes MASTERPLAN musical character. The keyboards do not play the second guitar role like in most of the Power Metal releases but carve their own path laying down killer melodies that often attract the spot light from Grapow's magic. Great is also Terrana's contribution to the solid sound of the album doing his thing behind the drum kit building a granite wall in the rhythm section. "Blue Europa" is another MASTERPLAN track that is also something like the unofficial anthem for the united Europe for reasons I do no clearly see. On the other hand, this song with almost galloping guitar rhythms and Coverdale influenced vocal performance by Jorn will rock your ear off and be happy that MASTERPLAN are back! The almost closes with ballad-like "Under The Moon" where one can think of Ozzy's "I Just Want You" during the keyboard intro and then enjoy how the song progress building a wonderful atmosphere until the final climax with the guitar solo.

Although, I don't like the title "Time To Be King" that obviously has much to do with Jorn's return I cannot but to agree that leaving aside all the musical differences MASTERPLAN managed to release a very good album that can stand the comparison with their debut album. If you are a MASTERPLAN fan invest your money in this and give yourself the courtesy to decide whether is time to be king. If you are not then I suggest that you should cut your teeth with the first two albums.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Fiddle Of Time
  2. Blow Your Winds
  3. Far From The End Of The World
  4. Time To Be King
  5. Lonely Winds Of War
  6. The Dark Road
  7. The Sun Is In Your Hands
  8. The Black One
  9. Blue Europa
  10. Under The Moon
Lineup:
Jorn Lande - Vocals
Roland Grapow - Guitar
Jan Soren Eckert - Bass
Axel Mackenrott - Keyboards
Mike Terrana - Drums
Record Label: AFM Records
     


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Edited 12 August 2020
 

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