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Masterplan - "Far From The End Of The World" (CD/EP)

Masterplan - "Far From The End Of The World" CD/EP cover image

"Far From The End Of The World" track listing:

1. Far From The End Of The World (Single Version) (3:22)
2. Lonely Winds Of War (4:37)
3. Far From The End Of The World (Album Version) (3:36)

Reviewed by on April 19, 2010

"While this EP is a mixed bag, it portends fairly well for Masterplan’s upcoming full-length."

Masterplan is a power metal super group featuring former members of Helloween, Iron Savior, and power metal legend Jorn Lande himself, and they have released two prior long players. As the release of Masterplan’s upcoming full length, “Time To Be King,” continues to be pushed back they released an EP to tide fans over until the end of May. Featuring two tracks from the upcoming album, the single is a preview of the good quality stock power metal coming up.

“Far From The End Of The World” is, head-scratchingly, presented twice here - once as a single version and once as an album version. But with only a 14 second difference between the two and obvious cuts in the single version, Masterplan would have been better off including just the album version. As a song it is impressively tight in both playing and songwriting, with Lande’s distinct vocals getting a good showcase and Roland Grapow’s guitar is lithe and energetic. At much less than four minutes the band packs an excitingly quick wallop into “Far From The End Of The World.”

“Lonely Winds of War” is more of a power metal ballad, and doesn’t fare as well. An acoustic picked guitar-with-flute intro jarringly moves into a middle-eastern melody carried by Axel Mackenrott’s keyboard. But the meat of the song is fairly bland with more generic chords and a more banal delivery from Lande, as the herky-jerky intro doesn’t carry over much. The over-dramatic solos and ending sequence ultimately doom “Lonely Winds of War” to the boring bin.

While this EP is a mixed bag, it portends fairly well for Masterplan’s upcoming full-length. If “Time to Be King” follows the tight songwriting of “Far From The End Of The World” we may have a good album come May. If not, these guys will solider on anyway.

Highs: “Far From The End Of The World” is tight, energetic and fun.

Lows: “Lonely Winds of War” is just boring.

Bottom line: Short and uneven EP shows potential for quality and failure on upcoming full-length.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)