If anybody had wondered about life after HELLOWEEN for former pumpkins Roland Grapow and Uli Kusch, MASTERPLAN is the answer, a masterful answer even, completed with Norwegian vocalist extraordinaire Jorn Lande (JORN, MILLENIUM, ARK), IRON SAVIOR bassist Jan Eckert and yet unknown keyboarder Axel Mackenrott.
Best Melodic Metal, with great melodies, nice crunchy guitars and yet another great vocal performance by Jorn are the cornerstones of this EP, preceding the release of the full debut in late January 2003, definitely wetting my appetite for the complete record, because this taster makes me want more!
MASTERPLAN put their emphasis on melodies, still with quite some heaviness, but unlike their former/other bands (most notably HELLOWEEN and IRON SAVIOR), this quintet cannot be attributed the label of Power Metal and neither should they be regarded as "just another" band or side-shot, because for that the songs have far too much substance.
The title track "Enlighten Me" can be found in two versions, besides the regular album version we also get the single edit, just like the one bonus track "Through Thick And Thin" best Melodic Metal with a Melodic Rock touch, while "Kind Hearted Light" is more up-tempo, but nothing less very infectious. Only the cover version of LED ZEPPELIN's "Black Dog" (the second bonus track) does not convince me, but hey, I can't stand LED ZEP in first place, so…
Anyhow, a debut MCD that definitely makes the cut and is heavily recommended to all out there, who like it melodic! (Online December 20, 2002)