Melodic Metal heroes MASTERPLAN are back with new line-up and big plans!
The new members are well known:
Swedish vocalist Rick Altzi (At Vance, Thunderstone) is the one to replace Jorn Lande. Altzi enjoys a fabulous reputation throught his works with numerous projects and bands.
MASTERPLAN’s new bass player is another highly regarded musician: Jari Kainulainen (ex-Stratovarius/Evergrey).
“The last years have not been easy for Masterplan”, band leader Roland Grapow comments. “Because of several factors we have been unable to play festivals and tours – even though we had plenty of offers. But this will definitely change now. I’m very happy to welcome Rick and Jari on board now. Beside their undoubted musical qualities they both fit perfectly into our team. We feel a huge motivation to get things going now. 2013 will be see a new Masterplan album, several festivals and a tour! It’s time to return with full force”.
First confirmed MASTERPLAN gigs for 2013:
Rocknacht Tennwilm (Switzerland)
Masters Of Rock (Czech Republic)
Some killer METAL for your Monday……
EPYSODE, the new melodic progressive metal band project of Samuel Arkan (Virus IV), has released a new video “Obsessions” in support of their album of the same name, Obsessions. Check it out!
AT VANCE – “RIDE THE SKY” RIDES WITH POTENT & MELODIC POWER METAL!
AT VANCE – Ride The Sky was released on January 12, 2010, an album emboldened with the blazing guitar mastery of founder and leader Olaf Lenk. Guitar enthusiasts know that Olaf Lenk will more than fortify the songs of At Vance, to unreal heights of the Melodic Power Metal stratosphere. Ride The Sky plays this truth out, in non-excessive fashion. Olaf Lenk has the acute ability to streamline his leads and solos into an all-out accessible listen, which in turn becomes dozens of listens. Giving equal spotlight to lead vocalist Rick Altzi, Olaf has truly found a star with this frontman. Rick Altzi convincingly adds a classic Hard Rock touch, vocally, to Ride The Sky, combined with his credible Power Metal pipes.
The album title and opening track Ride The Sky makes no excuses for what is about to come. Sensational from the onset with its bridge leading into a heightened Power Metal theme, that sets the excellent musical standards of this ensuing album. Vivaldi, Summer 2nd Set is the one Euro Power Metal trademark song, an instrumental that gains it’s identity through its Medieval ambiance of keys, rhythm and guitar tone. Salvation Day has the emotional theme in both its lyrics and music, a song that catapults inspiration into a mesmerizing plane. End Of Days is acceptably the fastest song on this album, blending an inspired rhythm attack from bass guitarist Wolfman and drummer Alex Landenburg with borderline shredding from Olaf.
If you have heard even the slightest comparisons of Rick Altzi to the legendary David Coverdale, those comparisons are justified. No where will you hear more, the shades of David Coverdale, than in Rick Altzi’s vocals in that of Wishing Well. This genuine Classic Rock song, made famous by the legendary Free, is covered so brilliantly here by At Vance that I equate it to taking a Metal Music ecstasy pill. I’m not kidding. Olaf Lenk knows where Hard Rock and Heavy Metal roots were sown, giving Free such an enormous nod through the cover of Wishing Well exemplifies this.
Torn – Burning Like Fire is a song that should make the great Yngwie J. Malmsteen smile, with it’s melodic muscle and lyrics, coupled with Olaf Lenk’s arena style riffs and leads, this song is an old school standout. Power is adequately titled, this song is laden with old school Hard Rock crisscrossing with Power Metal of 2010, best defined as a sped up mid ’80’s Whitesnake with Rainbow lyrics. Not to be misunderstood, influences that I hear aside… Power is as original an example as you will hear from At Vance.
You And I is the ballad found on Ride The Sky. I will stand outside the Metal box here and respect my own self commandment: thou shall not criticize a ballad just because I am not fond of them. This ballad has the balance and fortitude to belong on Ride The Sky, plus Olaf Lenk saves the day with his most appreciated and short guitar solo. Besides, Rick Altzi has the vocals that are tailor-made for a ballad once in a while.
There are Power Metal albums and then there are those elite offerings that only come around every half dozen years or so… Ride The Sky is one such album. Olaf Lenk has an At Vance lineup that has obviously seen and listened to his Power Metal vision. Olaf Lenk and his band At Vance can now continue onward, with Ride The Sky as their newest measuring stick of Melodic Power Metal completeness.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Ride The Sky
02 Burning Like Fire
03. End Of Days
04. Wishing Well
06. Last In Line
08. Glommy Monday
10. Salvation Day
12. You And I
At Vance is:
Rick Altzi – vocals
Olaf Lenk – guitars
Wolfman – bass
Alex Landenburg – drums