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The Grandmaster: Black Sun
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The Grandmaster: Black Sun

Melodic/Heavy/Power Metal
4.0/5.0

Formed by Edguy guitarist Jens Ludwig, The Grandmaster appeared in 2021 with their debut album, Skywards. In it's first iteration the band featured relatively unknown Brazilian vocalist. Duo was backed up by Frontier's studio wizard Alessandro Del Vecchio (b,k,bgvs) and drummer Mirkko DeMaio. Twenty-six months later, Ludwig returns with his follow-up, Black Sun, featuring Danish vocalist Per Johansson, currently also with Denmark's Fate.

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Per Johansson & Jens Ludwig

Avoiding comparisons to Edguy, The Grandmaster plays essentially melodic heavy metal with power metal vigor. Most songs, then, are fast and heavy, lead by Ludwig's riffs and epic solos. The nuances include piano melodies and symphonic embellishment within a few songs, with Fly, Icarus Fly a fine example. As for Johansson, he has an assertive vocal, with some range, yet sounding sometimes rough like sandpaper.


Mentioning a few other songs, the obvious power metal arrives with Heaven's Calling, Black Sun, and Into The Dark. Yet, there's significant nuances in other songs to vary pacing and offer subtlety, such as Learn To Forgive, While The Sun Goes Down, or Soul Sacrifice. Then, What Can We Bear seems heavy, a bit plodding, and even raw thanks to the vocals. Essentially, for this listener, I was impressed and moved more by the metal music and Ludwig's fret work, and less by the vocal arrangements. All said then, if you dig heavier, guitar driven, power metal, yet with nuances of piano melody and symphonic notes, and a bit more raw vocals, you will enjoy Jens Ludwig and The Grandmaster's Black Sun. Recommended.

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The Take Away

If you dig heavier, guitar driven, power metal, yet with nuances of piano melody and symphonic notes, and a bit more raw vocals, you will enjoy Jens Ludwig and The Grandmaster's Black Sun.

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