Before starting off with this review, I would like to say that I won’t try to judge the music content of this album – that happened a lot of years ago when the included songs were originally released. I would only like to mention that the vocals are disappointing and the songs don’t differ from the old versions. There are only some keyboard additions.

I am not prejudiced against Masterplan, on the contrary, they are a band whose career I have always been watching closely, a band I always liked, especially their first studio efforts. I just cannot understand why this album was released, in the first place.

I respect Roland Grapow for the great work he has contributed to the German power metal scene, I believe, however, that, as the founder and composer of Masterplan, he made a mistake by taking the decision to make such an album – and we cannot overpass the fact that Masterplan hasn't released a studio album for years now. If he wanted so much to do such a thing, he could add some Helloween covers to a proper studio album, as extra material. Surely Grapow hasn't run out of new ideas, but that remains to be seen because as far as I know, a new Masterplan release is scheduled for 2018.

Most people have combined “Pumpkings” with Helloween’s “Pumpkins United” tour. Some of them believe that Masterplan want to take advantage of this Helloween “reunion” and to increase its album sales. Others believe that with this kind of release Roland Grapow wants to express in a way his disappointment for not being included in this “reunion”, although he was a member of Helloween much more years than Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske. Who knows, the truth must lie in between…

Generally, I cannot find any reason why anybody should buy this album. If someone wants to listen to these songs, he or she may run to the back catalog of Helloween (and enjoy the classic versions with Kiske and Andi Deris on vocals).

♦ 4/10

Nikos Arvanitis