I don't know why so many people including Kurt Vanderhoof hated “Masterpeace”. Ok, so it wasn't the best or the heaviest, but it wasn't bad either. Now, we get a new product complete with three new members including ex-ROTTWEILLER vocalist Ronnie Munroe who fills the shoes for David Wayne. To be honest, Ronnie sounds a bit like Dave with the gritty and raspy voice, but he has his own identity.
"Leave The World Behind" has got killer melodies along with heavy riffs kindly provided by Kurt and Jay. I always thought that the centrepiece of the group was always Kirk Arrington's drumming. It's technical and bombastic. Here is no different. The song proves to be fast and loaded with attitude. Quite frankly, when you hear this opener compared to "Sleeps With Thunder" from “Masterpiece” this is much better. Things heat up when "Hero's Soul" picks up the pace and moves in a much faster direction. It's very reminiscent of their 80's material, but this track holds up fine and still manages to sound as modern as possible. Kurt's soloing here spirals all over the place leaving you dizzy and dazed when he's done. Nice job.
The longest track here clocked in at over eight minutes here is "Madman's Soul" and it sounds a lot like MAIDEN's "Hallowed Be Thy Name" in the beginning with the atmospheric vibe, ringing of the church bell and the vocal pattern along with the guitar work. It's pretty bizarre and must be heard. However, the guys part ways and go into their own direction after the intro. Each track delivers the goods by not sounding dated and for as old as all of these guys are they sure still have a lot of stamina left in them and Kurt can really be proud of this album because this is the beginning of their next chapter.
As far as Ronnie goes, fans can be rest assured that he does just to the songs and as a member. He has filled in the shoes of David and Mike Howe quite nicely. It's not often that someone new can fit into the puzzle as quickly as this. (Online March 4, 2005)