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I Don't Even Like Masterplan, Yet... - 75%

OzzyApu, May 18th, 2009

I’ve known Masterplan even before I began listening to metal, but I never knew how good Lande was as a vocalist when he wasn’t in that corny band. All it took was a sample of "Blacksong" and I was floored at how excellent the production accompanied such a burly voice!

The album flows as one singular song, but this sounds kind of awkward as the production causes the guitar distortion to sound heavy and grainy. Thus the transition between tracks is rockier than they would be just finishing on their own. Hearing it again though, it actually isn't that unstable and seeps rather uninterrupted. Production wise this album excels in every category and gives us a very unison performance, but matches Firewind's Allegiance in terms of a manufactured sound. The drumming, while remaining just a pattern keeper, sounds organic and is kind of addicting, especially if I was listening to this in the car. You can hear the bass from a mile away as it ruptures, which is always a good thing. It mainly trails behind the guitars, and that’s still not a problem when you take notice of the tight leadwork.

Can you picture Priest and Dream Theater combining riffs? If so, then those riffs aren’t on here, but if they were ripped-off then those riffs would appear here. They’re powerful and chug honorably (as opposed to chugging dishonorably) like inoffensive heavy metal, but their flamboyance allows for great Maiden worship. Their mood depends on Lande the most, who pretty much controls this album with an iron fist. Solos sound captivating and much like Wylde’s style from Ozzy Osbourne, but somehow I got Eternal Tears Of Sorrow popping in my head as well.

I should reiterate how Jørn completely dominates the album, especially since his band name is his own. For the most part his style doesn’t change from track to track, but you’ll hear some tinges in his voice that lean towards country and soul. Then again, he pretty much just sings with a dry voice that was so good it sucked me in. He doesn’t pull off a lot of wails like Dickinson or anything, but Apollo from Firewind sounds close to this guy, and he wails like a motherfucker.

It makes it easier for readers to get the gist of the album with a couple of tracks, so I’d recommend “Blacksong” and “Starfire” for the general idea. Honestly, it’s hard to tell most of the songs apart because the riffs sound generally alike and Jørn sounds like fucking Jørn. Sure the melodies are slightly different but the vocals are so upfront in the music that you don’t exactly pay attention to the harmony of the instruments – at least I didn’t.

Also, how big of a fucking ego does Jørn have to not only name the band after himself, but to also write an album dedicated to how much of sexy lover he is and how alike he is to Evan Stone? Help me out on this one, Masterplan fans…