The latest release from the German power metal outfit Masterplan has guitarist Roland Grapow revisiting his past. “PumpKings” features eleven songs from Grapow’s years in Helloween re-recorded with Masterplan’s current lineup.
The tunes on “PumpKings” chronicle Grapow’s time in Helloween and run the gamut from albums “Pink Bubbles Go Ape” to “The Dark Ride.” The songs definitely get the Masterplan touch, a bit heavier sound with many more textures and layers courtesy of keyboardist Axel Mackenrott. Masterplan vocalist Rick Atzi has a much different vocal style than either of the Helloween vocalists from that time frame (Michael Kiske and Andi Deris) which creates a different feel on many of the tunes. “Mankind”
has some incredible keyboard work from Mackenrott that should not be missed. “The Time of the Oath” and “Take Me Home” are standout tracks and sound great and really fit well with Masterplan’s overall vibe.
“PumpKings” is an interesting release and a fun look back at Grapow’s time with Helloween and the contributions that he made to the band. Serious collectors will definitely want to add this one to their shelf.