Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

CD review MASTERPLAN "PumpKings"

Veröffentlicht am 22. Juli 2017 von Markus W. in Masterplan, Helloween, News, CD Review, AFM, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Speed Metal

CD review MASTERPLAN "PumpKings"

(6/10) From a timing point of view the release of “PumpKings” is a quite interesting one. In a time when Helloween’s close to the Pumpkins United tour, including Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen, it is former Helloween guitarist Michael Grapow who releases an album that features eleven songs from the ‘Pumpkins’. I can’t tell you if this release is a way to participate in the existing Helloween/Pumpkins hype or if it was a 100% based on a pure passion for these nine songs. Therefor I stop speculating and focus on the music you get with “PumpKings”.

As mentioned, the album features eleven tracks that cover the era from the 1991 release “Pink Bubbles Go Ape” to “The Dark Ride” which was released in 2000. Songs like "Mr. Ego" and "The Dark Side" are actually good metal tunes even though these nine years don't belong to the strongest ones in Helloween's long history and redoing them with Masterplan didn't add something to the total. OK, production techniques improved and the sound might have a bit more power, but on the other hand the Helloween-signature got lost a bit too. What's missing is a certain ease. This album feels bloodless and comes across more as a 'must do' rather than a release with much blood, sweat and tears.

What remains is the question if the world was waiting for this release at this very moment? You have to give the answer yourself but for me it would have been far more exciting to get a new Masterplan longplayer, considering the fact that “Novum Initium” was released four years ago. I can’t get rid of the idea that this album is more a performance of duty based on another motivation than creating a thrilling metal record.





  1. The Chance
  2. Someone's Crying
  3. Mankind
  4. Step Out Of Hell
  5. Mr. Ego
  6. Still We Go
  7. Escalation 666
  8. The Time Of The Oath
  9. Music
  10. The Dark Ride
  11. Take Me Home


Label: AFM Records

Genre: Power Metal

Release Date EU: July 28th, 2017