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MASTERPLAN – “MK ll” ALBUM IS 100% MELODIC POWER METAL

Posted in Album Review, cool album covers, current power metal bands, essential heavy metal albums, essential power metal albums, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal bands this decade, heavy metal drummers, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal vocalists, melodic power metal bands, melodic power metal music, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school power metal music, Power Metal, power metal albums, power metal bands, power metal guitarists, power metal music, power metal music today, power metal songs, power metal vocalists, rock music, symphonic metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Masterplan "MK ll" small album picMasterplan released the MK ll album back on February 23, 2007. I have never regretted with catching onto Masterplan. Half the fun of being into Heavy Metal, is knowing there are so many bands from so many genres to sink your ears into… ah, the world of Metal is a good thing. For those not familiar, Masterplan is a Power Metal Band, 100% through and through with no gimmicks. Melodic Metal and Symphonic Metal are two other labels that are just as fitting for Masterplan, the three genres I attribute to this band are adequately interlocking. Masterplan is led by former Helloween guitarist, Roland Grapow, he takes on the roles of guitarist, composer and producer. I gravitate very often to the Power Metal genre, finding this form of Metal Music to be inspiring and ultra credible. I find the Power Metal songs from Masterplan MK ll to be like a Metal soundtrack for my mind… uplifting and scenic thoughts appear for me, reflective thoughts too. Getting revved up is not difficult while listening to Masterplan either, there are plenty of psyche out moments in their songs. Masterplan goes full throttle with their Power Metal, there never seems to be a dull moment, for me.

MK ll has been a CD of choice for me, going back to last weekend. Every so often, I need to expand my Metal horizons and listen to another genre that isn’t extremely fast, hard and heavy. Masterplan are a heavy band in their own Melodic Power Metal right, only it is the symphonic side of this band that really keeps me grounded… and I like that. Diversity in the Heavy Metal universe is what makes this music so worthwhile. The longer I stop to look, listen and read, the better acquainted I get with the vastness of the Heavy Metal family tree. Discovering Masterplan on the Heavy Metal family tree is like finding and picking that almost perfect pear, you just know it’s good and juicy.

As for the songs on MK ll, there are no loafers to be found. This album has a cool, consistent flow about it, making MK ll one of those albums I can listen to from start to finish, no leap frogging is necessary! My two favorite songs on MK ll are: I’m Gonna Win and Watching The World. These two songs are #6 and #7, respectively on the track list. Both of these songs project this majestic high that just wraps around my senses and psyches me out. Mike DiMeo is everything you could expect from a Power Metal vocalist, he surely can hit the high notes and harmonizes effortlessly throughout MK ll. Mike Terrana on drums is darn great to listen to, there are moments when his playing is the focal point. Jan S. Eckert keeps the rhythm solid with Terrana, a very tight unit. The keyboards are a major musical ingredient with this Power Metal outfit, Axel Mackenrott makes his presence known by providing the atmospheric and symphonic environment within the songs. I look forward to a brand new Masterplan album in 2010, Roland Grapow has some Power Metal momentum going for him, with Masterplan.

The momentum of Masterplan will be getting even stronger, now that news has been broken, of Jorn Lande returning as lead vocalist. (You can read the official news of Jorn Lande returning by going on the official Masterplan website at http://www.master-plan.net). I will always appreciate the vocals that Mike DiMeo brought to Masterplan, honestly, he is very good, in my Metal opinion. Jorn Lande is a premier Heavy Metal vocalist period. Jorn’s solo career and vocal contribution to Avantasia, coupled with his past Masterplan albums is proof positive he is at the top of the Power Metal pyramid. Welcome back to Masterplan Jorn!

Masterplan "MK ll" large album pic

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Some SCARY SONGS to Search Out for this Halloween Season

Posted in 1960's classic rock music, 1960's rock & roll, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's rock music, 1980's thrash metal music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal songs, 1990's thrash metal bands, 1990's thrash metal songs, 1990's heavy metal music, 1990's thrash metal music, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock cover songs, classic rock music, classic rock songs, collecting music, collecting rock music, cool album covers, cover songs, creepy album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential heavy metal songs, halloween rock music songs, halloween songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal music, horror metal, horror punk, horror punk albums, horror punk rock music, Metal, metal odyssey, misfits album covers, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, old school punk rock, power metal music, punk rock music, rock and roll, rock music, scary album covers, scary rock music songs, spooky album covers, thrash metal music, vintage rock and roll cover songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

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Halloween is coming and there are scary songs aplenty out there, to get me in the spooky spirit. I came up with a list of my favorites, each song a true Classic in it’s own frightful right. Heavy Metal, Hard Rock and Punk Rock are all represented here well with cool and frightening songs… go ahead… peruse and enjoy this list – if you dare!

Monster Mash – Misfits - I really get a kick out of the Misfits cover version of this 1962 Bobby “Boris” Pickett original. The Misfits cover version can be found on their albums Project 1950 and Cut’s From The Crypt. The Bobby “Boris” Pickett original version of Monster Mash reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart on October 20, 1962. I covet the original version just as much as the Misfits cover.

Werewolves of London - Warren Zevon – this song is originally found on Warren Zevon’s 1978 album Excitable Boy.  I just bought the live version of Warren Zevon’s Werewolves of London on itunes a week ago… the live version is unreal good. Since I first heard this song in 1978, it never ceases to put me in the Halloween mood, no matter what time of year I listen to this great song.

Godzilla - Blue Oyster Cult – this song is found on the Blue Oyster Cult album Spectres, released in 1977. The live version of Godzilla is found on their 1978 album Some Enchanted Evening… I lean towards liking the live version more, always have. The live version just seems to have more total heaviness – a Classic Rock gem.

HalloweenHelloween – alright, now we are talking about some serious Metal here. The 1987 album Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 1 is where you can find this song, truly an amazing Power Metal epic… at 13 minutes & 18 seconds long, yet every second is Metal brilliance. This song exploits the vocal excellence of Michael Kiske, he was an incredible singer for Helloween, period.

Boris The Spider - The Who – Released in 1966 (the year that I was, gulp, born) – A Quick One is The Who album where this legendary song is found. A short song, at 2 minutes & 29 seconds, the late John Entwistle gives this creepy little song it’s Rock character through his bass and vocals too.

The Number of the BeastIron Maiden – Whoa, this song gets better each time I hear it… I am sure I am not alone in stating that. Released on the Number of the Beast album from 1982, it seems like yesterday to me.

Old Carver’s BonesCKY – From the 2009 CKY album Carver City, this song is scary with multiple exclamation points. The music and lyrics of this song makes the creep out meter catch on fire.

Dead Skin MaskSlayer – In 1990, Slayer released Seasons in the Abyss – just the title of this song says enough… F’n Slayer rules.

This Is HalloweenMarilyn Manson – I practically inhale this song every late September up until Halloween night. This Is Halloween sung by the legendary Marilyn Manson, can be heard on the re-release of The Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack, (re-released in 2006). Metal truth be told, this is probably my most favorite Marilyn Manson song ever… and I like a ton of Marilyn Manson songs a great deal. Marilyn Manson sounds so damn mean, nasty and scary on this song that it creates a thunderstorm in the sky above, wherever it is played.

FrankensteinOver Kill – this Thrash Metal cover of the Edgar Winter original is frighteningly unreal good. An instrumental, there is no need for lyrics… the music is alarmingly spooky to the maximum. I embrace the Edgar Winter original as much as the Over Kill cover version… bear in mind the Over Kill cover version is damn heavier!! The Over Kill cover version is found on their 1991 album Horrorscope. The Edgar Winter Group original version of Frankenstein is on their 1972 album They Only Come Out at Night.

Black SabbathBlack Sabbath – from the debut self titled album Black Sabbath, (released in 1970), the song Black Sabbath carries me through a nightmare that I never mind revisiting. Everything about this song spells chillingly scary… from Ozzy Osbourne’s vocals to Tony Iommi’s doom laden riffs, the godfather of creepy Metal songs without a doubt in my Metal mind.

I could go on until Doomsday with a master list of scary and horror laden songs that get me pumped for Halloween. These songs are the ones that I seem to listen to the most, (or so it seems). Maybe you agree with this list of shock and scream songs, maybe you have a song to add to this list too… don’t hesitate to give your suggestion or two for songs that are just as frightening or more so. Happy Halloween.

Black Sabbath "Black Sabbath" large album pic


HAMMERFALL “No Sacrifice, No Victory” – Power Metal on high

Posted in 1970's Rock, 1980's power metal music, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's power metal music, 1990's heavy metal music, 2009 power metal music, Album Review, classic metal, cool album covers, cover songs, current heavy metal albums, current metal albums, european power metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, power metal from sweden, power metal music today, speed metal, symphonic metal, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

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HAMMERFALL has done it again. This Power Metal outfit wasn’t about to release a sound scape of easy listening, calming, ocean waves… no way. “No Sacrifice, No Victory” (released March 24, 2009), is Power Metal with several exclamation points after it. For anyone new to Hammerfall, they are similar in musical style to that of Helloween, a long standing originator of this Power Metal genre. With approximately 15 studio albums behind them, (not counting EP’s, Greatest Hits or Singles), Hammerfall on this new release, sound as if they are hell bent on dominating the world with their Power Metal brand. I am not about to get in their way, if anything I will raise my Metal fist into the air and cry out the lyrics to “Hallowed Be My Name” and be glad I did. If you are totally into Power Metal and cannot become inspired by “No Sacrifice, No Victory”, well, then you are not into Power Metal music at all.

In my Metal opinion, I find beauty to be an attribute of the musical sound of Power Metal. (Yeah, I did say beauty… let’s not get carried away here). On “Something For The Ages”, if one cannot hear the beauty in the melodic guitar leads and solos, then I will stand alone with my belief. (From this day forward, I shall call it Metal beauty). How many Metal bands can make a church organ sound cool in any song? Hammerfall can… on “Between Two Worlds”, courtesy of Power Metal veteran Jens Johansson. Now, do not hesitate to think for one Metal second, that Hammerfall does not hand unto us a heavy, Power Metal album… they do hammer down the heavy, the power… the Power Metal. The background vocals throughout are trademark and at the upmost heightened level throughout “No Sacrifice, No Victory”. Without these backing vocals on high, it would not be Power Metal. If I was to choose one track off this album that carries each crucial characteristic of Hammerfall’s Power Metal, it is “One Of A Kind”. The sweeping and confident lead vocals of Joacim Cans coupled with the musical totality of this band make this song a signature example, for me.

I found it to be a cool surprise, that Hammerfall added the cover version of “My Sharona” to this new album. (Not that Hammerfall is new to cover songs, their “Masterpieces” album is nothing but Vintage Metal cover tunes). The Knack originally released this song on their “Get The Knack” album, (circa 1979), a band and album I always felt was at least a decade ahead of their time. (I found this vintage album at a thrift store a couple months ago… mint condition and 50 cents too). Not to get stranded here, I really do admire Hammerfall for covering “My Sharona” and recognizing a true classic, a song that bordered and teetered on Punk, New Wave and Rock – an interwoven treat of a band is celebrated here by Hammerfall, The Knack should feel great about now. As for the cover version by Hammerfall? It Rocks, very well indeed. I have made a new rule about this “My Sharona” cover song… I must always play it extremely loud for maximum listening pleasure. Will Hammerfall resurrect “My Sharona” and once again make it a #1 hit single? Of course not, yet who cares? This song, being the last track on the album, is a grand way to end “No Sacrifice, No Victory”.

From the high, all enveloping lead and backing vocals, to the searing and soaring guitar leads, numerous and melodic solos, combined with the groove and thump of the rhythm section – add the keyboards and organ for the sensory surround sound that gives Power Metal it’s name… you will have ventured into the Metal world of Hammerfall’s “No Sacrifice, No Victory”.

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