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Masterplan's latest power metal endeavor MKII fuses balls and melody sans the pomp, the most common enemy of many of the genre's acts, allowing tracks like "Take Me Over" to bowl over any metal fan that enjoys galloping metal and a sturdy chorus, hold the cheese please. "Keeps Me Burning" and "Lost and Gone" sound as pertinent as anything Lacuna Coil or Sevendust have put out recently, and "Heart of Darkness" showcases the group's dramatic flare without relegating to overbearing metal cliché or bland metaphor. Reborn thanks to a few lineup changes and brimming over with a renewed spirit, MKII demonstrates power metal at its finest, complete with engaging melodies and enough sing along choruses to shake hockey arenas nationwide.
- Mike SOS