by MythofRock

The Grandmaster continues its presence in the metal scene with their latest release, “Black Sun”, marking a significant progression from their debut album, “Skywards”. Led by the seasoned German guitarist Jens Ludwig, known for his work with Edguy, the band showcases their skills across eleven tracks. One notable change in the lineup sees Brazilian vocalist Nando Fernandes replaced by Danish singer Per Johansson. While Fernandes’ departure might have raised concerns among fans, Johansson proves himself as a worthy successor, bringing warmth and an impressive vocal range to the forefront. The cohesion of the lineup is further strengthened by the Italian duo Alessandro Del Vecchio on bass and keyboards, and drummer Mirkko DeMaio, both acclaimed musicians in their own right. Their contributions add depth and texture to the band’s sound, providing a solid foundation for Ludwig’s intricate guitar work and Johansson’s commanding vocals. “Black Sun” presents a marked evolution from its predecessor, boasting a more aggressive tone attributed in part to Johansson’s vocal style. The album seamlessly merges power and melody, enchanting listeners with its dynamic energy and progressive elements. The result is a modern interpretation of European-style power metal, enriched with an epic atmosphere. Standout songs such as “Watching the End,” “Fly, Icarus Fly,” and “Into the Dark” prove The Grandmaster’s ability to craft memorable compositions that resonate with audiences. Overall, “Black Sun” is the result of The Grandmaster’s growth and maturation as a band. With this release, they offer fans a compelling blend of aggression, melody and epic storytelling.

♦ 8/10

Nick G. Arvanitis

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