MASTERPLAN – Masterplan


Release Date: January 20, 2003

User Review
10/10 (1 vote)

Holy shit, German speed metal must be the only thing Jorn Lande hasn’t done so far. Here, together with ex-Helloweenies Roland Grapow on guitar, and an impressive guitar that is, and Uli Kusch on drums, not forgetting Jan-S. Eckert on bass and Axel Mackenrott on keys, he confirms what we all know by now: He can sing everything and anything. Not that he has a zillion voices and can express any genre the way it is meant to be done (hm, did I say that? He can!), but his voice suits whatever he does, because his delivery always is over the top or far beyond. This said, Masterplan is not Jorn’s best work to date, but that tells you more what he is capable of, not a bad word about this CD, which in a Helloween context is the best since Master Of The Rings, released almost a decade ago.

Masterplan doesn’t fall far from its tree. This disc will be purchased by anyone who buys Helloween for their music and not just out of an old habit. It’s all up to AFM, the label, how far they want this band to go, because this for sure is a potential money spinner. For the first half of the album, you can just sit back and hear every song blasting out topping or equalling the last, and the first little setback actually comes when Lande hands over the vocal duties to none other that Michael Kiske for a typical speed metal song called “Heroes”. Now Kiske was, and still might be, a great singer. He has my eternal respect for his past work, it’s just that next to Jorn, he’s on a very different planet. Jorn can turn water into wine with his voice, even fish into food, just check out the evil spirit in “Soulburn”, a song that fits him perfectly and could have been seen the light on the Beyond Twilight CD. No idea who wrote it though, but the song has a trademark Jorn expression.

“Enlighten Me”, the single, is a goody that kind of creeps upon you. I played the single a few times and thought “well…” when I first bought it, but I went back and rediscovered its haunting melody and beauty a few weeks later. You might find yourself in the same situation, so please invest time in this CD. It could be my slow brain, of course, but if you don’t get this under your skin immediately, please don’t give up. There are one or two somewhat stressy double bassdrum-songs on this album, but don’t let that ruin your fun if you check Masterplan out because you admire Jorn’s previous work. And there is a great deal of heaviness and mid-tempo pure heavy metal on this CD, so don’t let that get in your way if you eat Helloween for breakfast every day. I really can’t see this CD fall between two genres, but it might help to have that in mind and be a little open-minded when you listen first, that this is the perfect balance between happy speed metal and heavy rock, not just another happy metal CD. Masterplan has found a formula that really works, not only for themselves but it should work for most fans of hard-hitting melodic music, and only Jorn Lande is the limitation of how far this band can go. And we all know, he has no limits…


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