Saturday, June 22, 2013

MASTERPLAN: "Novum Initium"

Rating: RRR
Label: AFM Records 2013
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Novum Initium - latin for 'a new beginning'. So are they Jorn again? Nope, the Norwegian is nowhere to be found. He's been in and out of the band several times already... but I believe he's gone for good? Frankly I do not know nor do I care for that matter. I do however know that former RIOT vocalist Mike DiMeo is nowhere to be found either and instead we get Rick Altzi from fellow German act 'At Vance' to perform behind the microphone. Smooth is hardly the correct vocal description, however, a little thing like raspy whiskey flavor quite clearly does nothing to halt his enthusiasm for singing the melodic power metal.

Founder/guitarist and almighty leader Roland Grapow (Helloween) plays his guitar with metalized virtousity that mixes teutonic rock and galloping classical elements in an impressive style. The flashy solos and at times overlong notes gets you in the heart everytime. The actual tracks leave much to ask for this time and they tend to drift along in an aimless stream of clichés and melodies of the past. It's not their best album by far and I believe we've heard a majority of these melodies before and better performed by the band for that matter. "Keep Your Dream Alive" is no doubt the safe and sturdy rocker without ever hitting the nerve. Don't get me wrong, it's nice... but hardly the masterplan.

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