CD Reviews

Masterplan - 'Pumpkings'

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 16, 2018    
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Buy this if you're a Masterplan completist or if you're a glutton for punishment, it is, as I always say, your choice.

First things first, I've always been a massive fan of Masterplan. In fact, I own all their albums, the special edition releases as well as all their singles. Therefore, it pains me when I'm forced to admit that I feel this album is little more than a cynical way to get money from the many fans who love Masterplan and their music.

This forces me to ask do we honestly need a "best of" Helloween album recorded by the current line-up of Masterplan? In my humble opinion, the answer is a resounding no! What exactly does this release bring to the table you might ask? My response would be, apart from a lot of songs taken from, let's face it, Helloween's least successful period... nothing. If I want to go and listen to some Helloween songs from 'Pink Bubbles Go Ape', 'Chameleon', 'Master Of The Rings', 'The Time Of The Oath' and 'The Dark Ride' albums, then I'll dig them out and listen to them. I don't need Masterplan re-recording some of the tracks from those albums and putting them out under the Masterplan name.

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Of course, Masterplan leader Roland Grapow (ex-Helloween) has the right to re-record his songs and he also has the right to say, and I quote, "Our new versions of the songs are heavier definitely which helps to make them sound fresh and up to date". Fair enough I suppose, but let's be truthful and admit that it is likely that anyone who is a Masterplan fan wants new music from the band, not some regurgitated songs from a decade and more ago, all of which were recorded by a different act.

Admittedly, the music is powerful (I suppose it always was) and as a band Masterplan are wonderful musicians, but that provides little or no saving grace here. Being able to play and re-record songs to produce a great sounding release doesn't negate this from being little more than a cash-in on the Masterplan name (in my personal opinion). For those that do find this of interest, the songs on 'PumpKings' include 'The Chance', 'Someone's Crying', 'Mankind', 'Step Out Of Hell', 'Mr. Ego', 'Still We Go', 'Escalation 666', 'The Time Of The Oath', 'Music', 'The Dark Ride' and 'Take Me Home'.

In summary, buy this if you're a Masterplan completist or if you're a glutton for punishment, it is, as I always say, your choice.

Ian Johnson

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