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Masterpiece - Colors of conflict 3.5/5

Reviewed: 7-28-06


1. Destruction for the new creation
2. Loyality
3. Eternal scream
4. Footprints in the Hamlet
5. One for all the nations
6. The mind revolution
7. Bring me back
8. Incarnet
9. Secluded region
10. Gush out
11. Bring light

Majestic Rock Records brought us the excellent Crimsonfire 's/t' debut in late 2005 and the label now returns with the full-length debut 'Colors of conflict' from the band Masterpiece. It's a somewhat unique CD and I was surprised to learn the band is from Japan, as their music style is somewhere between the symphonic power metal style of Rhapsody, Holy Knights, Thy Majestie and Bride Adorned, and the popular power metal style of Dreamtale, Stratovarius, Thunderstone, Sonata Arctica and the promising new band Cardiant.

Masterpiece greatly succeeds with the musical portion of the CD, not only providing us with a familiar sound but a ton of speed as well. The band hits us with one fast (and symphonic) song after another, from track 2 "Loyality", to track 3 "Eternal scream", to track 7 "Bring me back" which probably has the best chorus, to the very Rhapsody-like track 6 "The mind revolution" and track 8 "Incarnet", through to the lengthy track 11 "Bring light" that finishes the CD. The typical symphonic intro "Destruction for the new creation" and the outstanding instrumental track 4 "Footprints in the Hamlet" (which has keyboards parts a la Skylark and a sweet guitar solo as the bulk of the song) bring us just the right amount of non-speedy moments. There are plenty of ultra-fast guitar and keyboard solos and I could not be more satisified with the musical aspect.

Unfortunately, the vocals make for a more unique listen and may be what keep Masterpiece from becoming one of the next big power metal bands (which they do have the potential). Vocalist Agene Broadfield has a strong accent and also sings in an operatic style, even hitting the tenor range a few times. Now I will admit, the more operatic vocals could possibly be sung by a "guest" or perhaps are from another band member and are considered "backing vocals". I have not been able to verify this. Regardless, the vocal style is a bit diverse. I should emphasize however, that I would describe the vocals as simply being different (take getting used to) and are not at a poor level.

So we end up with one of those CDs that's difficult to rate. It's right in the middle of 2 of my favorite styles of power metal, and seriously, 'Colors of conflict' musically is easily at the 4/5 "excellent" level and possibly even deserving of the high 4.5/5 rating. But because the vocals have been somewhat difficult for me to digest, the overall quality of the CD is brought down. With the music so awesome though, Mastepiece's debut leans more to being recommended than not and I feel fans of the 2 different music styles discussed will be satisfied.




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