|Review: Masterpiece - Colors of Conflict|
|Colors of Conflict|
Label: Majestic Rock
Year released: 2006
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: February 3, 2007
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
for:Colors of Conflict
Rated 5/5 (100%) (8 Votes)
Sonata Arctica have done their fair share to rejuvenate the power metal genre, and have gained a rather prosperous fan base in the process, deservedly so. Yet, despite their pervasive influence, Masterpiece are the first band I've encountered who attempt to emulate them exactly. And I mean e-x-a-c-t-l-y. Hailing from the veritable land of crack-pots, this Japanese quartet strive to find anything inventive between the notes, and instead play scrabble with all four of Sonata Arctica's releases, trying to make songs with the musical letters they pull out the bag. To a certain degree, this actually works. Opener "Loyalty" and the fabulous double-bass riot "Bright Light" may be pilfered from another artist, but the mere attempt to ape them so flawlessly has to be commended. Mr. Tony Kakko couldn't have sang Don't care how many sacrifices will be made with more emotional arraignment himself. Musically, they stand closer to the band's earlier, more feral efforts, particularly "Ecliptica", when the young Finns were at the threshold of temerity.
The amusing lyrics are even more hilarious after the translation – which in this case means they have actually bested SA on this one – and as each line is squeezed through a tight Japanese accent, you begin to recognise this band's insalubrious obsession for what it really is. In the shadow of unjust criticism, Masterpiece have crafted a damn fine album that fans of the aforementioned Sonata Arctica will easily assimilate. Both the torrent of mind-boggling synth work and neo-classical scale running are shrewdly executed, the backing vocals are choir-like in their arrangement, and on a whole, the band's performance couldn't be more admirable. A tad more symphonic than SA, the tracks themselves maybe a little clichéd, but damn me if "Bring Me Back" isn't the best thing Sonata Arc…erm… Masterpiece have ever written.
There is however and underpinning problem concerning the time delays between each track and the editing could have been tighter, but all of that aside, fans of fast, technical, candy-hook-laden power metal will lap this up before they have successfully removed the wrapper. I'm not sure what kind of mountain Masterpiece are climbing, but the distance to the top may be shorter than they think.
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