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Masterplan biography
MASTERPLAN is the joining in a new band by a number of people who made their marks in rock. Originally it was formed by two ex-Helloween mates guitarist Roland Grapow and drummer Uli Kusch. After extensive search they found a singer in Jorn Lande (ex-The Snakes, Millenium) who left all bands in order to give full force to this band..

"Masterplan" is an album with highly melodic prog metal, a bit more metal than prog. This combined with a series of strong compositions, only momentarily taking a detour towards somewhat to hardrocky stuff (Heroes), results in quite something. This has resulted in an album that approaches the quality of an Ark album, yet is more accessible. Highly recommended for Power Prog heads, and fans of Lande in general.

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Limited Edition
Afm Records 2017
$14.61 (used)
Limited Edition
AFM Records 2012
$8.00 (used)
Afm Records 2005
$6.32 (used)
Keep Your Dream aLive! (CD/Blu-Ray)Keep Your Dream aLive! (CD/Blu-Ray)
AFM Records 2015
$14.96 (used)
Novum Initium (digipack edition)Novum Initium (digipack edition)
Limited Edition
AFM Records 2013
$6.76 (used)
Time to Be KingTime to Be King
Afm Records 2010
$4.66 (used)
Limited Edition
Afm Records 2017
$24.95 (used)
Afm Records 2012
$13.47 (used)
$28.81 (used)
Limited Edition
Afm 2009
$8.49 (used)
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MASTERPLAN discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

MASTERPLAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.76 | 52 ratings
3.19 | 47 ratings
3.17 | 26 ratings
3.09 | 25 ratings
Time to Be King
3.00 | 12 ratings
Novum Initium

MASTERPLAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Keep Your Dream Alive

MASTERPLAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MASTERPLAN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MASTERPLAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.46 | 9 ratings
Enlighten Me
3.43 | 7 ratings
Back For My Life
3.04 | 6 ratings
Lost & Gone
3.40 | 5 ratings
Far From the End of the World


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Masterplan by MASTERPLAN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.76 | 52 ratings

Masterplan Prog Related

Review by Progrussia

4 stars I am a little surprised by inclusion of Masterplan, founded by former members of German power metal pioneers Helloween. Both bands are power metal with just a whiff of prog (and Helloween has more multi-part epics). Include both or neither, I think. Anyway, as far as power metal goes, Masterplan are above the fray. Lyrical themes are above average, melodies often dramatic instead of the usual happy-go-lucky lets-go-pillage, and the icing on the cake is the superb hard rock gruff vocals of Jorn Lande, whose convincing delivery alone elevates this above the usual power metal stuff. Too bad he would stay with them only intermittently.
 Novum Initium by MASTERPLAN album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.00 | 12 ratings

Novum Initium
Masterplan Prog Related

Review by RasmusFors

3 stars For fans of more straight up power metal, this is a quite excellent album. The songwriting is a mix of classic heavy metal, european power metal, and a little touch of prog. Rick Altzis pipes are lower and grittier than Landes, but it fits the music. Grapow joins him on the last track, and their voices compliments one another perfectly. The guitars are melodic and hard hitting, the keys are competent but never in the front. The drums and the bass are certainly good, but like the keys they are overshadowed by the dominant guitars. In conclusion this is a very good power/heavy metal album. It's classic and easily accessible, but it never goes in to the boring clich's which are often in this type of metal. A weak 4 for all fans of heavy/power metal, maybe a solid 2 for all progheads who doesn't like the power genre.
 Time to Be King by MASTERPLAN album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.09 | 25 ratings

Time to Be King
Masterplan Prog Related

Review by praj912

2 stars Masterplan return with an enjoyable slab of melodic song-based power metal. there isn't much more to be said about this one, the songs don't really add much to their legacy and they certainly don't push any progressive boundaries. But as I said, it's enjoyable enough for fans and potentially could rate 3.5 stars on a metal site. Roland Grapow produces acouple of riffs and solo flouries that are enjoyable and Jorn Lande rides the rhythms well with his vocals. Whilst Mike Terrana showed a bit of penash on the previous MKII release, I hardly notice he's there on this one. Probably the two highlights are the bass and keyboards, but that's pretty straight ahead too. Bread and butter metal.
 Masterplan by MASTERPLAN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.76 | 52 ratings

Masterplan Prog Related

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars My heavy metal taste is strange. It seems to come in phases. My last one was between the years of 1997-2001. It was good to know several bands that mixed very well prog elements within the heavy metal context, some more (Dream Theatre, Thereshold, Shadow Gallery, Royal Hunt, etc) , some less (Kamelot, Edenbridge, Nightwish, etc), but all bringing something new and exciting to the musical scene. So I was back into the ´pure´ prog format when this CD came out. And its qualities made me buy it when it came out and I heard it on the store.

Formed by ex Helloween members Roland Grapow (guitar) and Uli Kusch (drums), both excellent players and songwriters, plus singer extraordinaire Jörn Lande (ex Yngwie Malmsteem´s Rising Force and In The Company Of Snakes, among others), bassist Jan S. Eckert (ex Iron Saviour, another Helloween spin off) and keyboardist Axel Mackenrott. Their sound is a very powerful melodic heavy metal with prog hints. All songs are catchy, very well written, tastefully arranged and produced. All tracks are excellent, proving once and for all that Grapow and Kusch, even if they were not original members, were very much responsible for a lot of the ´Helloween sound` of late.

There are no fillers and my special edition CD came with a bonus disc containing the videoclip of Enlighten Me, interviews and screen saver. Highlights are Lande´s strong and versatile vocals (he is one of rock´s best singers ever), the fine musicanship of all involved and the superb production. Although the prog element here is harlly the main course (it´s mostly on the atmospheric keyboards parts), the music is nevertheless very good and elaborated. If you´re into power metal with great melodies, addictive hooks and skillful playing, go for it! It is one of the best debuts i´ve heard in the new millenium.

 MK II by MASTERPLAN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.17 | 26 ratings

Masterplan Prog Related

Review by SMSM

4 stars What most people want to know: - New singer Mike DiMeo / vocals is a notch below Jorne Lande, in fact someone may prefer him as his vocals do not dominate.

A lot better than many power metal releases as the drummer, - Mike Terrana, of Rage varies his drumming style.

However, like Rage, they will still be 2nd tier to heavy weights like Helloween, Gamma Ray and Blind Guardian because of their songwriting.

Songs / Tracks Listing 1. Phoenix Rising 2. Warrior's Cry 3. Lost And Gone 4. Keeps me Burning 5. Take Me Over 6. I'm Gonna Win 7. Watching The World 8. Call The Gypsy 9. Trust In You 10. Masterplan 11. Enemy 12. Heart Of Darkness

Of the songs above, Take, Me Over, I'm Gonna Win and Watching the World are in the same class as those groups mentioned above.

I give it a 4. 3.8 to be exact, because it is much better than good, but not reaching excellent, especially since I seldom given 5 reviews as essential (these are hall of fame recordings deserving this)

 Masterplan by MASTERPLAN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.76 | 52 ratings

Masterplan Prog Related

Review by Kustin

4 stars There was a period of time in my life as a young man when I found it difficult to understand deep, complex music, especially when it's basically prog. I held myself onto mainstream music, especially to post-grunge music, but the problem was that there were so many different songs crossing my mind that I've had difficulties to decide what's my most favourite band/group/artist. But now as I found something that offered me a warm, friendly step towards the further understanding of music in the prog and metal territory, Masterplan revealed the opportunity and marked the beginning of a new path where people like me walk further away from the eclectic fields of the mainstream territory.

And as I have shared my first experience of becoming one of the million pilgrims in the prog and metal world, I am writing my first review on the first album that gave me one of my life's revelations: The Masterplan debut album.

Looking back to the first days when I listened to Masterplan, I never thought that power metal could grab me with with its catchy, accessible melodies but also with the complexity that allows the songs to keep growing on me. The band's reliability on their song's depth was somewhat inspired from the progressive rock/metal territory, most notably from the Norwegian band Ark. So, the founding members, Roland Grapow and Uli Kusch, have really used their potential to their fullest since they were fired by the remaining band members of Helloween. I've personally never been a fan of the latter, so I guess it justifies the duo's commitment to what was originally their side-project.

And so... our lord above sent us Jorn Lande! That's right, Jorn frigging Lande! By now, he's been famous for his voice, which (and here we go again) possesses the versatility of David Coverdale and the power of Ronnie James Dio. Not only am I in love of his unique voice and his melodic songwriting, I also admire him for his imaginative, introspective and thought-provoking lyrics that he helps providing the band with. Masterplan, I do tell you my good friend, is not a band with just another high-pitched vocalist, this is practically a one-of-a-kind vocalist. Sadly, it's a pity that he left the band 3 years later due to musical differences (Jorn leans more to the melodic, hard-rock direction while the duo leans more to the heavier sound), much to their fans' disappointment. Oh well... Those were quite sweet times while they lasted, and I am certain they haven't seen the last of each other yet...

Though those three members stand out the most in their debut album, creatively and musically, both the ex-Iron Savior bassist Jan Sören Eckert and the Children of Bodom-keyboardist Janne Warmen (or was it Warman?) deserve some credits as well. Janne only lasted temporarily as a session member due to his commitment to CoB, but he left some decent marks in Masterplan's sound with some pianic pieces (Soulburn) and atmospheric layers (especially in Into The Light, Crawling From Hell and Bleeding Eyes). The member position he left was soon filled in by Axel Mackenrott, who is also a decent keyboard player despite that his musical career just began to gain momentum. Jan S. Eckert is... well, in my opinion, he just fills the bass lines where it's needed. Nevertheless, the sound is well audible and I thought it helped kick up the heat of the songs, especially in Crystal Night and Crawling From Hell.

In short, Masterplan is one of the few bands that you'll find some difficulty not to like, if you're at least something of a metal fan. Their debut album stands well out thanks to its accessible and hooky melodies and at the same time leaves you wanting for more... And the following albums won't disappoint either, the band members have proved their consistency in their well-inspired songwriting. And if you're just like me, you'll probably begin to learn the significance of how progressive elements, if only a few, helps the band to stick out from other bands of the same genre. (Though not a prog-metal band, Masterplan is commonly known as a power metal band, with some prog-related inspirations)

Personal album highlights: Almost every song are worthy highlights, but honorable mentions go to Spirit Never Die, Soulburn, Into The Light and Bleeding Eyes.

 MK II by MASTERPLAN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.17 | 26 ratings

Masterplan Prog Related

Review by Isa
Prog Reviewer

2 stars |D| Cookie cutter power metal with prog moments.

That pretty much sums up the nature of the power metal band Masterplan's most recent album, MK II. My brother bought this album about a year ago or so when he was really into power metal and I've listened to it every so often since. At the time it was a pretty cool album, though even then I sensed its evident cookie cutter quality. This is certainly more well written and slightly less obnoxiously cliche than much of the power metal out there, but all of the tracks follow the same or a very similar formula, that of cliche power metal which standard verse-chorus-solo-etc. sort of structure, with slightly proggy moments, especially the intros to many of the songs.

Most of the cliches of power metal are right here in this album: rhythm guitar doing not much more than power chords and sixteenth or eighth note strumming on the same note per measure or two, overuse of double bass drumming, relatively simple song structure, overly melodic and epic vocal melodies with corny lyrics. Occasionally, mainly in the intros of some tracks, we'd have some nice proggy moments with clean guitar, nice chord changes, and great synth string keyboard work, but these are usually brief and go straight into the cliche power metal sound, with which many of us prog metallers are familiar.

So unless you're already a fan of power metal, this isn't an album you will probably be interested in. The best tracks are Take Me Over, Call the Gypsy, and the album title track, which is probably the main reason anyone would want to buy this album. Otherwise, this album isn't really very noteworthy, and it even isn't too revered in the power metal community anyways. Get this album only if you collect power metal or already like the band's work. Otherwise, there's not much here even an average prog metal fan would be interested in.

 Aeronautics by MASTERPLAN album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.19 | 47 ratings

Masterplan Prog Related

Review by JgX 5

3 stars Jorn Lande from Ark and uli-grapow from helloween...nice introduction from This Band.and good musicians on this work.when i saw this album for the first Time i tought that this beautiful work was pure-power metal music.and really in a Certain Way it is,but it contains nice Vocals parts performed by the -master- Lande with gread melodic work,making this album more catchy and im never get bored listening to this songs. -Headbangers ballroom-After this war-dark from the dying-falling sparrow-.For my personal taste,they are the better ones on this a few times you can heart progressive elemments,specially in the solo section,a Lot of changes..Well.i like this album.and if you like power melodic will enjoy this,NICE. 3.5 stars

Cheers.. (-Jack-)

 Masterplan by MASTERPLAN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.76 | 52 ratings

Masterplan Prog Related

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I already did the review of Aeronautics and had originally the intention to leave it at that one. This was because I (like most other reviewers) truly believe this is not prog, at best just a slight touch of it. And I have the habit of ignoring the bands and albums that shouldn't really be on this website. But if you look at my list of reviewed albums you can see I already have been quite inconsistent with that (10 CC, Queen, Santana, etc.) so I might as well do Masterplan.

Also because I really love this band, their songs are very strong and powerful and can give one a lot of energy just by listening to it. And I always love and admire bands that have that impact on someone's mood. And what's also a great achievement: it goes for all the songs on this album, another aspect I can very much appreciate. Not every album I know has just very strong tracks, most of the time there are a few less impressive ones.

So that's what I can say about it. Another great effort by Masterplan and a very strong debut. I can only reward it with 4 stars. A great (power)metal album but not a convincing progressive one to say the least. But in this case quality and impact beats progressive content.

 Aeronautics by MASTERPLAN album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.19 | 47 ratings

Masterplan Prog Related

Review by Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Back for their sophomore.

Yes those German power metalers are back, and with a vengeance. The second album from the Helloween spin-off finds the band back in top form and still rocking. Following close on the heels of their last album in terms of sound we find that this band has incorporated a few new things into their sound. These being mainly that the album is really heavy and the album actually has a progressive moment or two in it. While the sound is still similar the most striking difference in this album and their first is that this one has far more contrast between the songs wile the first album had a very themed, almost linear sound. Switching between strait up speed and slow crunchy songs, this album is sure to delight fans of the first.

The album opens with the sound of a propeller starting and synths come in for a moment to introduce the listener to the album until they're blasted by the heavy riffs. CRIMSON RIDER opens with a bang, showing the audience that the band has capitalized on what made them great on the first album -- strong vocals backed by a powerful, competent band. This doesn't let down, especially in the speedier songs such as WOUNDS (a song similar in style to that of ''Kind Hearted Light'' from the debut) and I'M NOT AFRAID.

Also interesting about this album is the apparent homage to former Helloween-er Kai Hansen and his band Iron Savior. AFTER THIS WAR is somewhat a cover of the Iron Savior song ''After The War''. The lyrics have been changed slightly as well as the melody, making this more of a tribute than a cover, but the song is good none the less. Even if it is one of the weaker moments on the album it's always interesting to see bands showing respect for one another.

A couple of the slower songs on the album certainly lead to show a more interesting side of the band. Starting with the album's lead single, BACK FOR MY LIFE, the album hosts a multitude of midpaced and slower songs that show that the band are quite good with that kind of diversity. While some of the slower songs on their debut came out as weaker than the rest, here they're actually fairly strong. The leading single of the album is somewhat of a twisted love song with a catchy chorus and good guitar licks courtesy of one Mr. Roland Grapow. Other excellent songs in the same style occur from here on in, including the Gothic love story, HEADBANGER'S BALLROOM. Perhaps not for the prog of heart, this song tells the tale of two kids who find love in one another away from the strangleholds of society. Featuring some great heavy-metal waltz music at the solo, this is one for the lonely hearted. FALLING SPARROW is another highlight, a slow crunchy rocker with a very melodic chorus.

The band also gets the chance to dabble in the prog-metal fields, if briefly. DARK FROM THE DYING is a short attempt at capturing some of the essence of Prog, bt it doesn't really make it. It's really just one of those songs that seems way longer than it actually is, but still features some very excellent vocals by Lande. Where the band really captures prog (if for a moment) is the coda track BLACK IN THE BURN. Bordering on the short side of 10-minutes, this is a track that the prog-metalers should love. Starting with some haunting pianos the song explodes into motion as Lande's vocals push the guitars over the top into some truly magnificent musical fireworks highlighted by some very impressive (if maybe Helloween styled) guitar solos. This is where everything comes together -- the crunchy guitars mix with the frantic pace of the drumming and keys coupled with a very melodic chorus to create what can only be described as Materplan's opus.

With a number of highlights and a few misfires this album is definately an interesting one. 3 stars, good but not essential to your prog collection. Recommended to fans of Progressive metal (even if this isn't part of the genre), Helloween fans, power metal fans.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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