Album Reviews

Masterplan – Novum Initium Review

masterplan novum nitium cover

Released by: AFM Records

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Power Metal



Line Up:

Rick Altzi – vocals

Roland Grapow – guitars

Axel Mackenrott – keyboards

Jari Kainulainen – bass

Martin “Marthus” Skaroupka – drums



01. Per Aspera Ad Astra

02. The Game

03. Keep Your Dream Alive

04. Black Night Of Magic

05. Betrayal

06. No Escape

07. Pray On My Soul

08. Earth Is Going Down

09. Return From Avalon

10. Through Your Eyes

11. Novum Initium

12. 1492 (digipack bonus track)

13. Fear The Silence (digipack bonus track)


When I got wind that Jorn Lande was no longer a part of Masterplan I became quite leery of their potential future. I understand that former Helloween axman Roland Grapow is the main man behind their incredible music, but Lande’s vocal abilities, for me at least, were what set the band apart from so many other cookie cutter power bands out there. From the moment I saw him on his brief stint with Yngwie Malmsteen I have been a self-admitted fanboy. And Masterplan in particular was the vehicle I found was perfect for his talents. The bands upcoming album Novum Initium was one I waited anxiously, not allowing myself any expectations for preventing any potential for disappointment. Little did I know…

I should’ve figured that Mr. Grapow wouldn’t let me down. With the addition of singer Rick Altzi (former At Vance) and a set of songs that maintain the greatness fans have come to appreciate of Masterplan over the years, there was no need for any worry. One of the major appeals for me in regards to Masterplan (other than Grapow’s genius guitar work and Lande’s brilliant voice) has been the fact that the songs are so well written. Though easily one of the best Power Metal bands of all-time, what sets them apart is their keen sense of melody and the ability to craft songs with great “pop” sensibility, for lack of a better term. In other words, accessible power metal that would appeal to people not really fans of the genre. With Novum Initium, Grapow continues on the same path. With standout tracks “Keep Your Dream Alive,” “Through Your Eyes,” “Black Night of Magic,” and “Betrayal” Grapow and company prove that they are a force to be reckoned with. Altzi’s vocals are similar enough to Lande’s that it fits seamlessly with their signature sound.

With my fears allayed and set aside I’m happy to say that Masterplan are as fresh as always and have released an album just as strong as their past releases. The jury is still out as to whether Novum Initium is their best album ever, but it’s certainly strong enough to be as good as the rest. With a master craftman like Roland Grapow at the helm of the sound and songs there should be little concern as to their future.


Written by Chris Martin

Ratings    Chris    7/10

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