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Review: Masterstroke - Sleep

Label: Dynamic Arts Records
Year released: 2007
Duration: 41:59
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: July 7, 2008
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating


This is the second album for Finnish heavy metallers Masterstroke, but I had never heard of them before I got this album in the mail.  I wasn't expecting much when I saw the album's title, but Sleep turned out to be a good slab of crunchy melodic Heavy Metal.  What caught my attention the most are the vocals which, notwithstanding a short passage at the beginning of "Circle", are very well done - the singer has a powerful, versatile voice and the vocal melodies are catchy and uplifting for the most part, ranging from somewhat aggressive and harsh, to very melodic, to powerful shouted vocals that'll stick in your head for days.  The music itself has a pretty positive feel to it overall, with the emphasis on melody (with some overall subtle use of keyboards) but without sacrificing "the metal":  Crunchy guitar riffs are all over the place, sometimes flirting with Thrash without crossing the line.  Some parts sound a bit out of place, as if the band members were just torturing their instruments, which kind of breaks the mood, but fortunately there isn't too much of that - it's just hard not to notice.

While Masterstroke aren't really bringing anything new to the table, Sleep is nonetheless an enjoyable album overall - not perfect, but enough to keep one entertained.  No filler here, each songs having its own strengths.  If you're looking for some modern melodic Heavy Metal that incorporates some classic metal elements and a few hints of Power Metal, then this is definitely worth checking out.

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