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Novum Initium
Release date: May 24 2013

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Genre: Progressive Heavy Metal
Metal Traveller Rating: (4/5 - Raise Your Fist)

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Masterplan Novum Initium album cover

Masterplan is back with a new album accurately named Novum Initium. It can be considered as a new era for the band, as major line-up changes recently occurred.
This is the debut album with singer Rick Altzi (At Vance, Thunderstone), bass player Jari Kainulainen (Devil’s Train, ex-Stratovarius) and drummer Martin "Marthus" Skaroupka (Cradle Of Filth). Shall we call them Masterplan MKIII?


I have to admit that, while I have a lot of respect for Roland Grapow, I've never really been a big fan of Masterplan. I generally like more direct music, with fewer effects, less keyboards, and a more classic production. Musical tastes are personal.
Nevertheless, I'm a big Helloween fan and I try to follow the career of every former member of that band. Therefore, I was curious about this new Masterplan record, and it's definitely a good surprise!

The band has managed to create a set of songs full of energy and a distinctive atmosphere!
Betrayal is an amazing tune with an exotic taste and a great chorus.
Then there's No Escape, with its grandiose guitar solo. Return From Avalon has a very nice solo too, and its chorus is also great.
Through Your Eyes is a heavy and quite slow song with a somewhat dramatic atmosphere. I particularly love the intro and the guitar solo.
Finally, there's the 10 minute title track Novum Initium, where different sounds, atmospheres and instruments create a unique and very rich song.

It's fair to say that every musician does a classy performance in Novum Initium.
German Guitar Hero Roland Grapow has proven once again that he's part of the best guitar players of his generation. His melodic work is completed by long time keyboard player Axel Mackenrott.
But the new band members add their vibes too. Marthus’ work is outstanding! He's very creative and double bass drums are just not enough for him.
He makes a good companion to Jari, whose style has always been something apart, almost like playing lead guitar on bass.
And of course, Rick Altzi has been a great addition to the band. His sense of melody and his voice are now part of Masterplan's new assets.While sometimes his voice might remind Jorn’s, he definitely has his proper style that I hope will become part of Masterlan’s sound for the years to come.

Novum Initium is a very diverse record with many good songs. It has direct tunes such as The Game, Black Night Of Magic and Betrayal, and more atmospheric ones like Keep Your Dream Alive, Through Your Eyes and Novum Initium.

I said that I’ve never been a big fan of Masterplan, but I must say that I love this record, and I consider that Novum Initium is Masterplan’s best album to date.

A new Masterplan is born with Novum Initium and it deserves to reach to top.

Masterplan the band
Picture: Promo AFM Records

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Masterplan Line-up:

Rick Altzi – Vocals
Roland Grapow – Guitar
Jari Kainulainen – Bass
Axel Mackenrott – Keyboards
Martin "Marthus" Skaroupka – Drums

Masterplan Links:

Masterplan Website
Masterplan CDs on
Masterplan iTunes downloads

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Tracklist Masterplan - Novum Initium

01. Per Aspera Ad Astra
02. The Game
03. Keep Your Dream Alive
04. Black Night Of Magic
05. Betrayal
06. No Escape
07. Pray On My Soul
08. Earth Is Going Down
09. Return From Avalon
10. Through Your Eyes
11. Novum Initium
12. 1492 (Bonus Track)
13. Fear The Silence (Bonus Track)

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