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Masterplan - PumpKings

Published July 13 2017

=Staff's pick

The Chance*
Someone's Crying
Step Out Of Hell
Mr. Ego (Take Me Down)
Still We Go
Escalation 666
The Time Of The Oath*
The Dark Ride*
Take Me Home

Genre Heavy/Power Metal
Rick Altzi
Tracks 11
Roland Grapow
Running time 63 Min.
Label AFM Records
Jari Kainulainen
Release May 13, 2017
Kevin Kott
Country Germany/Sweden/Finland
Axel Mackenrott
Producer Roland Grapow
Similar bands Helloween

Roland Grapow has with his Masterplan decided to revisit his tenure in Helloween and redo 11 tracks that he wrote or co-wrote in the first place. I'm quite sure that the guitarist knows that he will get his fair share of invisible buckets full of shit thrown at him by less tolerant Helloween fans and probably a bunch of reviewers too for doing this. He certainly has some courage, I would say, even though he probably do this for the fun side of it too and one must never forget that this decision in the end undoubtedly brings some attention to the band as well.

The majority of the songs in their original form carry a power metal epithet, but now things are a bit different, whereas the songs definitely come out more in the solid heavy metal vein overall and additionally there's also some effects and new sounds added to them, to fill some to me unknown purpose. Sonically I think this new product is maybe just a little bit too unclean to fit my requirements, but production-wise it's without a doubt more powerful than what it used to be, and let's face it: the original production on quite a few of these songs was actually kind of thin if you listen to them nowadays.

Rick Altzi's type of voice is unfortunately not so suitable for these songs and he is absolutely a greater fit in pretty much everything else he does. The songs need a more high-pitched vocal performance and that's not really this vocalist's natural tone of voice and neither is he trying to put down some fake performance that he at a later stage would have to pay the price for. I guess that Michael Kiske and Andi Deris in the end both have been quite important factors in terms of building some of Helloween's success over the years.

Mr. Grapow hasn't picked the most obvious tracks, so I assume that he's not really trying to put together a kind of best songs compilation. Still there are some tremendous ones present on this record, like The Chance, The Time Of The Oath and The Dark Ride for example. At the same time some of them can't light the flame and deliver the same kind of feeling that the songs once did and dogshit like Music and Take Me Home are still to this day just as terrible as they have always been. When thinking about it, I would probably rank Take Me Home as Helloween's worst song ever, all those shitty B-sides and bonus tracks included.

See also review of: Novum Initium , Aeronautics , Masterplan








5 chalices of 10 - Tobbe

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