With Lande back in action again with Masterplan, "Time To Be King" looks like a huge return to form, a promising blow at start, but after a single spin, I began to grow a hesitation. Roland Grapow, the mastermind and producer, decided to create a balance proportion of uptempo power metal and midtempo melodic metal, with couple of ballads as sweetener, however the real problem that's arisen is the lack of superior tracks. Lande's undefeatable voice, along with a group of high-calibre musicians behind the instruments, is overpowering the majority of average songs in the album.
Masterplan started strong with the first two tracks which I believe are the highlight of the album. "Fiddle of Time" has a great modernized riffs, catchy keyboards, and powerful chorus. Grapow delivered deadly solos here, and this track alone can lure you to rate this album high immediately. Came on the next track, "Blow Your Winds", a superb melodic metal with an ultimate chorus, another favorite of mine, and followed by "Far From The End of The World" which is a fast-paced track with a Future World-ish riffs style and lush of keyboard touch. But after that, everything went sour, started with the dark-nuance title track. It has a good verse but suffered with an anti-climax chorus. "Lonely Winds of War" and "The Dark Road" are decent ballads, but "Under The Moon" is quite poor. Some promising tracks such as "The Sun Is Your Hands" and "Blue Europa" also failed to win my affection when it hits the chorus part. Ironically, the bonus track, "Kisses From You", which is actually far from metal and sounded like a happy Queen-like piano driven tickling track, is very entertaining and lovable.
"Time To Be King" should have been done better than this. The band has the capacity but instead it seems they rushed this out to meet the deadline date. For long time fans of Masterplan, this album is an obligatory purchase, but for casual fans of power metal or melodic metal, if vocal and rhythm section are the most important factor of your consideration, "Time TO Be King" is worth a shot, otherwise, avoid.
Bottomline : The mighty troops were torn apart by mediocre arrangement