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MASTERPLAN – Novum Initium

| 13 June 2013 | Reply


Label: AFM Records

Release Date: June 14, 2013

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by: ToddStar

It is no secret among my friends and fellow music lovers that enjoy a good symphonic metal record.  “Per Aspera Ad Astra” opens the latest from Masterplan with a keyboard heavy intro musical interlude that screams symphonic metal.  “The Game” is next and once the track kicks in full gear, we are left with a great hard rock track that borders on  melodic rock and has only minor sounds that would be qualified as symphonic.  The guitar solos are killer and help get this disc on the right track quickly.  “Keep Your Dream Alive” has some cool nuances when the song starts off, but it quickly evolves into another solid rock track that moves from rocker to ballad to melodic gem.  The vocals are strong on this track and make this one of the better songs on the disc.  “Black Night Of Magic” combines all of the sounds that have been used so far on the disc, but this one seems to toss in a bit more keyboard than the previous tracks.  The vocals and guitars are once again solid, but the drums are pounding on this track.  “Betrayal” opens with a cool intro that keeps the direction of the song a mystery.  The drums and bass jump into the mix, but until the chugging guitar kick in, you don’t have a clue how rocking this track will be.  The riffs are tight and add some depth to the track once the chorus starts up.  “No Escape” is more of the same great rock and riffs. The keyboards are mixed in nicely, again keeping this out of the symphonic genre and in the rock and metal category.  The rhythm section is solid again on this track.

“Pray On My Soul” has a different vibe when the keyboards open the track and that feel doesn’t go away once the rest of the band joins in.  The vocals really stand out on this track and allows thwe guitars and keyboards to duet nicely underneath the vocal track.  This is another standout track on the disc.  “Earth Is Going Down” is another song that has a different feel when it kicks off.  It has an odd Deep Purple feel to it that sits in the background, but is a nice combination of the Masterplan modern sound with a classic groove.  The vocals really help keep the modern twist to the song.  “Return From Avalon” brings back the symphonic vibe with heavy keyboards and twin guitar leads while the drums and bass pound away.  The melodic vocals add to the mix and give this a nice mix of rock and symphonic sounds.  The soaring choruses could go either way and give this a bit more depth.  “Through Your Eyes” is a mellower track that retains its hard rock edge from beginning to end, regardless of the tempo of the track or the emotion relayed in the vocals.  The guitar solo stands out as one of the better on the disc and adds to the track.  “Novum Initium” has a cool piano interlude opening along that soon becomes a great rock groove when the guitars, keyboards, bass, and drums jump in little by little.  The song seems to shift tempos and give the song an edgy feel.  The vocals are very strong and full of melody.  The song is a great book end for the collection on this disc and takes you on a great ride for over 10 minutes.

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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