Review: Masterplan “PumpKings”

Review: Masterplan “PumpKings”

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Roland Grapow decided to rethink his creative heritage (or to go back to the roots), so Masterplan release the ‘PumpKings’, an album consisting Helloween songs.

“The idea for this project was born more than three years ago”, Grapow recalls. “I’m proud of the songs, but these days I’d do certain things a bit different. So it was an easy decision to re-record them with Masterplan now. It took quite a while to come up with the album because I was busy with other productions in my studio and in addition we had just released our ‘Keep Your Dream aLive’ DVD with Masterplan in the Fall of 2015, so there was no reason to rush things.”

‘PumpKings’ contains 11 songs, which were written between 1990 and 2000, when Grapow worked in Helloween. And to be honest, I didn’t so understood this idea. Melodies didn’t changed, arrangements also remained almost unchanged – nearly ideal example of “if something works – don’t touch it”. So what’s the deal? What is the value of this album? And why is it Masterplan and not one more ‘Tribute to Helloween?

You can get the answer only after listening to this album with the originals: it’s the sound. Masterplan sounds heavier and deeper, than original songs. Riki Altzi’s rough and low timbered vocals, Kevin Kott and Jari Kainulainen’s rhythm-section, Axel Mackenrott’s keyboards and, of course, Roland Grapow’s guitars make this album not a reiteration or tribute, but completely independent work.

“Our new versions of the songs are heavier definitely”, Roland says. “It would have been pointless to just reproduce the tracks exactly as they were back then. But I feel that with our new take on it, the different vocals and overall more rough attitude, ‘PumpKings’ could be an interesting thing for both Masterplan– and Helloween fans. However, it was great fun to revisit this very important phase of my career – like meeting old friends.”

‘PumpKings’ will be released on July, 28 by AFM Records.


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Bikes, Music, Alcohol and Anarchy. Also books, gigs, traveling and alcohol one more time.

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