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Masterstroke: Sleep

Anyone who has an issue with the multitude of power metal bands who all sound like they hatched from the same egg and have nothing new to offer the genre, needs to hear the sophomore release from Finland's Masterstroke, titled Sleep. After their original label went bankrupt a few years back, the band put this gem together and wound up on Dynamic Arts Records, and it seems like a marriage made in heaven. One look at the neat artwork from Jarno Lahti that adorns the CD is just the tip of the iceberg, and once you place the disc into your player, be prepared for a melodic, slightly proggy, and ulimately satisfying metal album. These guys don't go overboard on the speed, and they don't saturate the music with keyboards, but there is enough of both elements here, acting as a complement to plenty of thunderous riffs, powerful rhythms, and solid, catchy vocals from Niko Rauhala.

There are ten tracks in all on Sleep, all memorable and crunchy, highlights being "Killing Creatures", the stampeding "Another Failure ", the symphonic prog-metal of "Circle", and the bombastic title track, complete with soaring vocals, heavy riffs, and orchestral synths. There's not really a dud to be found on the album, just quality classic/power metal all around. Fans of Masterplan, Pagan's Mind, Savatage, and Helloween will certainly eat this all up, and through Sleep doesn't quite reach the lofty heights of any of those bands, this is still a solid and enjoyable release, and shows a band that could soon be one of the must hear acts in the genre.

Track Listing
1. Transition
2. Killing Creatures
3. Turn Away
4. Under Our Command
5. Another Failure
6. Circle
7. Being Me
8. Sleep
9. Silent
10. Final Journey

Added: August 21st 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1988
Language: english

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