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.

About The Author Kris Engelhart

I am a small business owner, freelance writer, and part-time piano instructor in Charlotte, NC. My musical career started at the age of five when I was forced into taking piano lessons. I played flute in the school band and added the guitar as a young teen. There is nothing I would rather do than be at a live show. My first concert was Shaun Cassidy at the Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo in 1978. My top five live shows ever are: 1. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band – Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY 1984- They played for 3 ½ hours and it was awesome. 2. Carolina Rebellion- Metrolina Expo Grounds, Charlotte, NC, May, 2011 – The first ever Carolina Rebellion featured over 15 bands with Avenged Sevenfold headlining. Non-stop music for over 12 hours. 3. Chevelle- Food Lion Speed Street, Charlotte, NC, May, 2008 - The first time I ever saw Chevelle live and I was hooked! 4. Skillet with Red- Bojangle’s Coliseum, Charlotte, NC, April, 2010 – Skillet is one of my favorite bands and they totally kick it live. 5. 106.5 The End’s Weenie Roast #9- Verizon Wireless Amiptheater, Charlotte, NC , October, 2003- Featured Staind, Shinedown, Three Days Grace.