My special Tin cover edition of MKII arrived in the mail on Monday. Yea!! The CD and booklet came in a cool tin box (pictured to the left) and the CD came with the video for Lost and Gone (see below.)
I have been anxiously awaiting this new disc by Masterplan. This CD is the 3rd by the band, but the first with former Riot vocalist Mike DiMeo, and Yngwie Malmstee drummer Mike Terrana. Mike DiMeo has some huge shoes to fill, as he is filling the lead vocal position that was vacated by Jorn Lande late in 2006.
MK II starts with a majestic opening called Phoenix Rising, before blasting off with a high speed power metal offering, Warriors Cry. This isn’t my favorite track on this disc by any means, and seems like an odd placement early in the disc.
Lost and Gone on the other hand is a very cool radio ready mid tempo rock song. It is one of my early favorites on MK II.
Keeps Me Burning is a very good upbeat rocker and a nice follow up to Lost and Gone. This could easily be the second single from MKII.
Take Me Over is an great melodic track. DiMeo’s voice shines hear. ( I can almost hear Jorn singing this.) Roland Grapow absolutely flies on the guitar on this track. Great Stuff!
I really could not get into I’m Gonna Win. I did not care for the melody on this song. The song has a good message to it, but I would have preferred a different arrangement all together on this one.
Yes! Now this is what I am talking about! Watching the World is an up tempo rocker with a very cool majestic sounding keyboard by Axel Mackenrot. This is another excellent head banger on MK II.
Call the Gipsy is a very cool mid tempo number. DiMeo sings in a lower register quite a bit on this song, and sounds very much like Jorn Lande here. A short but great track.
I had to listen to Trust In You a couple of times to really gain an opinion. This track stars as slow piano based number, and builds into mid to low tempo guitar driven song. At this point, I think Mike DiMeo could sing the alphabet and sound good, but this song didn’t really grab me. I think as I continue to hear it, it will grow me on me more. The music is superb, but I need more time with this one.
If you are going to name a song after your band, it better be damn good. Masterplan is a full out power metal assault. DiMeo’s vocals are awesome, and the rest of band chants MAS – TER – PLAN! What is not to love? The band sounds like they are ready to blast off on this track. Too cool!
Enemy is the third song on MKII that I could see a possible single being made from. Roland Grapow really kicks it into gear on this song. Mike Terrana keeps the beat going strong and creates the need to break out the air drums. Great!
Heart of Darkness is another track that I could easily hear Jorn singing. DiMeo shows off his powerful voice on this track. I like Axel Mackenrott’s keyboards here a lot. As a whole this a whale of a song. It has multiple tempo changes, killer guitar work, great vocals and keyboards. It is a very good way to close out MKII.
Now the answer to the question that a lot of Masterplan fans are asking, is this CD as good as Aeronautics. For me, it is not. MK II is a solid offering, but it would have taken a lot to surpass Aeronautics. I do believe that this line up of Masterplan has the ability to make some amazing music together, and that the potential for greatness still lies ahead for these guys. There are some signs of pure metal brilliance on MK II. This disc will certainly appeal to Masterplan fans, and will probably make a bunch of new fans as well.
Rating: Out of 10
- Phoenix Rising
- Warriors Cry
- Lost and Gone
- Keeps Me Burning
- Take Me Over
- I’m Gonna Win
- Watching the World
- Call the Gipsy
- Trust In You
- Heart of Darkness