MASTERPLAN's self-titled debut was definitely the most pleasant surprise of 2003 — an excellently melodic produced power metal album that was aided greatly by the presence of former ARK/YNGWIE MALMSTEEN singer Jorn Lande, possibly the best traditional singer the heavy rock genre has produced in the last 10 years. This, the group's follow-up release, continues pretty much where the debut left off, with the same production team and lineup returning to offer what will likely to turn out to be one of 2005's finest releases.MASTERPLAN's sound is only slightly reminiscent of HELLOWEEN, the band guitarist Roland Grapow and drummer Uli Kusch were unceremoniously booted from shortly before making the decision to launch their current project. More often than not, MASTERPLAN tend to come across like a 21st century version of RAINBOW, with Lande's chest-pumping delivery leading the way over a sea of thick guitar riffs and thunderous drums that never get in the way of the band's ability to write actual "songs." On the whole, "Aeronautics" is probably not as immediate as its predecessor, with some of the tracks requiring a repeat airing before they are fully embedded in the listener's mind. This said, it is in no way a step down from the standards set on that brilliant debut offering — in fact, it is so stylistically and sonically similar to the band's first album that one could argue that a more experimental approach will be needed next time around in order to keep things from getting stale. While bands like HAMMERFALL and PRIMAL FEAR are seemingly content to pay tribute to their influences by rehashing their favorite '80s metal groups' material and calling it their own, MASTERPLAN — along with such forward-thinking power metal acts as KAMELOT and NOCTURNAL RITES — prove that there is indeed plenty of life left in the genre. "Aeronautics", like "Masterplan", is a must-have album for anyone that has an appreciation for all things heavy and melodic.
To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to delete postings that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to block users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. To report any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, please send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details.