After he had been fired from HELLOWEEN Roland Grapow had to decide, make it or break it! Either his new project MASTERPLAN is going to be a hit or it's going down with him…
Well, the chances for a big success are good, because the album has become the absolute hammer. How much underdemanded must the fella have been with HELLOWEEN…
Let's come to the music, the bombastic sound of those men is certainly a guarantee for good sales, if the promotion is right. A chart-entry might be very close! Thank God that MASTERPLAN don't sound like HELLOWEEN and the sing-along-factor is around zero. They are melodic, too, but more in the tradition of old Rock-giants like RAINBOW or DIO, in perfect balance with a fat, modern sound. Additionally, the amazing voice of music whore and singing God Jorn Lande, who is acting even better here than with BEYOND TWILIGHT, is a big plus. Imagine a cool blend of BLACK SABBATH (Martin-era), RAINBOW and the already mentioned BEYOND TWILIGHT. That should be enough to describe the direction. But also friends of AXEL RUDI PELL may have their pleasure here.
All of the songs are damn variable, from gloomy and menacing to fast party tracks, but there are also quiet passages. The brilliant refrains and song structures are leaving me stunned. Epic-songs like "Crystal night", "Bleeding eyes" or "Soulburn" are just giant God-songs that have this certain something that I cannot describe. But those are not the only highlights on this album. There are still some surprises left to discover.
If you also think, the Ralf is making fun of you, then let me say that it's a fact that this album has been celebrated everywhere. Just correct, I daresay. Really big and the surprise of this still young year. (Online February 10, 2003)