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Masterplan: Time To Be King

Wow...yes folks, Masterplan are back, and with a vengeance. The all-star progressive/power metal band have reunited with mega-vocalist Jorn Lande for their fourth release Time To Be King (and third with Lande), another slab of molten melodic metal that's as classy as it is powerful.

Apparently, the demand for Lande's return was just too great for the band and the singer to ignore, so whatever problems they had in the past have been swept aside, and the results are quite frankly impressive on all levels. Guitarist Roland Grapow (ex-Helloween) produced the album, and did a stellar job, as Time To Be King is a huge sounding slab of power metal, dripping with tons of melody, guitar crunch, symphonic keyboards, rock solid rhythms, and of course, the amazing lungs of Lande. Opener "Fiddle of Time" gets things started in fine fashion, a galloping thumper complete with massive riffage and bubbling synths from Axel Mackenrott, while "Blow Your Winds" starts with a gentle piano intro before turning into a crunchy & catchy rocker that recalls early 80's Rainbow. Manic and symphonic power metal is all the rage on the speedy "Far From the End of the World", with Lande's David Coverdale-esque vocals leading the charge over walls of riffs, keys, and the expert rhythm team of drummer Mike Terrana and bassist Jan Eckert. From there it's one stellar track after another; Grapow's thunderous axework on the title track, Lande's poignant delivery on "Lonely Winds of War", the epic sounds of "The Dark Road", the symphonic "The Sun Is In Your Hands", the massive crunch of "The Black One", the intricate "Blue Europa", the proggy "Under the Moon"...you get the picture. One awesome slice of heavy metal after another, and in the end you'll want more.

This is a band that could take over the world if the stars aligned themselves correctly, and Time To Be King is THE power metal release so far here in 2010. Five musicians at the top of their game, drawn back to each other and delivering the highlight of their careers. You heard it here-this is mandatory stuff folks if you have any passing interest in the genre whatsoever.


Track Listing

  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

Added: May 27th 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3099
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Masterplan: Time To Be King
Posted by Scott Jessup, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-05-27 06:51:36
My Score:

After two impressive melodic power metal albums, with their self titled 2003 debut and then Aeronautics from 2005, Masterplan had the makings of becoming a new force in metal circles. Unfortunately differences led to the departures of both vocalist Jorn Lande and Roland Grapow's former Helloween band mate drummer Uli Kusch, whom were replaced by Mike DiMeo and Mike Terrana respectively. Jorn recorded his solo albums and Uli started the new band Ride The Sky, which after one CD was grounded and failed to take off into that sky. There was obviously something special that the Grapow, Lande, Kush combo had going, which was absent from 2007's MKII, an album with less highlights, though there was nothing wrong with the vocals of Mike DiMeo.

In 2010 there is much anticipation, as Jorn Lande is now back singing with Masterplan on the new album Time To Be King. Jorn's popularity continues to grow with his solo work and guest appearances, having continued to make quite a name for himself, and his return to Masterplan will be a huge draw card for many, in particular those who tuned out after Aeronautics. The very enjoyable Time To Be King has more of what Masterplan excel at, Jorn utilizes his powerful voice and with such emotion as he makes a welcome return combined with Roland Grapow's vibrant guitar playing, complementary keyboards from Axel Mackenrott and driving the band is the very capable Mike Terrana and his power house drumming, and with the bass of Jan S. Eckert, Masterplan are primed to make an impact.

As expected Masterplan has benefited from Jorn's homecoming, off to a brisk start with "Fiddle Of Time" this band sounds energized and eager to prove they are still one of the best, like on the memorable title track which is just one of the many highlights. I am puzzled though why the song "Kisses From You" is the designated bonus track, and not included on the regular version? Shouldn't a band present their strongest material on the standard most purchased edition? I just feel this track would have made an excellent closer, plus I enjoyed it more than some of their other numbers, as Masterplan have created a fine Queen inspired performance, showing a different side to the band, as they step away from the metal.

Time To Be King will sit well with your other Masterplan CDs, whether it's a superior release to those first two is sure to be debated, and I'd have to say no it's not. But that's not a bad thing given how good they were, and Time To Be King is a CD of especially pleasing melodic metal, and further confirmation that Masterplan is indeed a quality metal band.



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