Masterplan MKII

Thanks to the addition of new vocalist Mike DiMeo (Riot), German power metallers Masterplan release one of their most adventurous, yet appealing, efforts to date. Switching between anthemic mid-tempo rockers and hyperactive, borderline thrash throughout the 12 tracks, there’s a strong sense of dynamics and creativeness that permeates most of MKII. Still, the band occasionally relax a bit too much. Tracks such as "Lost And Gone” sound distinctly Bon Jovi-ish, salvaged only by the distortion-soaked heavy guitars. Factor in that DiMeo is most certainly a crooner who is reserved enough to allude to operatic ability without basking in it and the songs also tend to broach soundtrack territory. One might expect to hear something like "Keeps Me Burning” playing during the end credits of The Neverending Story, due to its mystical elements and emotional delivery. Regardless, blazing guitar leads and a general sense of sharp awareness of just how slippery that cheesy power metal slope is ensure that Masterplan keep the majority of MKII on a straight course of heavy rock glory. (Candlelight USA)