Roland Grapow , born August 30, 1959 in Hamburg, Germany, is a German guitarist. He is known to have played in the German power metal band Helloween, but he is also a neoclassical guitarist. He is very much influenced by Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen.
He first played in the band Rampage from 1980 to 1982 with which he recorded two albums: Victims of Rock in 1981 and Love Lights Up The Night in 1982, Henjo Richter (Gamma Ray) will also be invited on this album . But the group does not meet with success and ends up separating.
It was in 1988 that Roland Grapow joined the band Helloween tour, just left by its founder Kai Hansen, who left him because of multiple tensions between Michael Weikath, Michael Kiske and himself. He will be participating in six albums with this group: Pink Bubbles Go Ape (1991), Chameleon (1993), Master of the Rings (1994), The Time of the Oath (1996), Better Than Raw (1998) and The Dark Ride (1998). 2000).
During this period, he released two solo albums: The Four Seasons Of Life in 1997 and Kaleidoscope in 1999. Although he wrote them while he was still in Helloween, these two albums are nothing like his work with this band. and are more oriented Neoclassical, where the influence of Yngwie Malmsteen as well as composers of classical music such as Niccolò Paganini is felt.
But after the promotional tour of The Dark Ride, Roland Grapow is ousted just like the drummer Uli Kusch by Michael Weikath, who judges them too little interested in the group and more by their solo projects. They then decide together to form a new group called Masterplan.