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Masterplan - s/t 4.5/5

Reviewed: 9-10-04


1. Spirit never die
2. Enlighten me
3. Kind hearted light
4. Crystal night
5. Soulburn
6. Heroes
7. Sail on
8. Into the light
9. Crawling from hell
10. Bleeding eyes
11. When love comes close

About a year and a half ago I passed up on getting this debut, as I was seeing many descriptions for the CD being melodic metal, and I feared it might be too light for me. Man did I make a mistake! By track 3 of the CD it's obvious that this is not melodic metal, but rather is melodic POWER metal, that ends up being plenty heavy for me.

This band is probably easiest to compare to Helloween, but they also reach the strength of Gamma Ray in a few spots. There is a band comparison that I've noticed though, that I think will surprise some. I think this band is very similar to the German band Mob Rules, as they have the excellent songwriting skills that Mob Rules has, and a lot of the songs seem to be structered the same way. Both bands are able to create memorable choruses that work very well with the music. Obviously though, the vocals between the bands are very different. The Mob Rules vocalist Klaus Dirks has a very high and unique voice that actually really appeals to me, while Masterplan's vocalist Jorn Lande has a mid-ranged voice (deeper than Klaus of Mob Rules). Jorn of Masterplan could best be compared to the popular vocalist Patrik Johansson of Space Odyssey, Astral Doors, and the latest Wuthering Heights.

Track 1 "Spirit never die" is a straight forward melodic power metal song with a great riff and a pleasing chorus. Track 2 "Enlighten me" is probably the highlight of the CD with its catchy hooks and awesome chorus, a very memorable song! Track 3 "Kind hearted light" keeps the strong pace going and this is where I begin to hear the similarity to Mob Rules. An excellent song that has you wondering if the entire CD is going to be this good (which it is). Track 4 "Crystal night" slows down just a bit for a crunchy mid-paced song. We get an epic start with track 5 "Soulburn", then the song moves into a melodic metal sound that's nicely done. Track 6 "Heroes" is another great melodic power metal song that again reminds me of Mob Rules. Great guitar solo on this song too! Track 7 "Sail on" continues with their Mob Rules like sound and ends up being one of the faster songs on the CD. Track 8 "Into the light" slows us down from the fast track 7, and this is where the slight melodic metal style is heard. Track 9 "Crawling from hell" is the heaviest song on the CD and has me thinking of Gamma Ray. A powerful song that keeps the CD moving very well. We get another crunchy song with track 10 "Bleeding eyes" that is similar to recent Helloween. Finishing off the CD is track 11 "When love comes close", that does have a great melodic metal feel and a spectacular guitar solo. A very nice finish.

This CD is very enjoyable and remarkable for being a debut. I know all of the members in the band have experience in other bands, but the way that these guys have fit together is pretty amazing. I almost missed out on an excellent melodic power metal debut.




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