MAGNUS KARLSSON’s FREEFALL – ST [Japan Edition +1]
Swedish guitarist & producer MAGNUS KARLSSON is the ‘wonder guy’ of the present Melodic Hard Rock (and also Melodic Metal) scene. Apart from his permanent slot in Primal Fear, he is the brain behind such great projects as Allen/Lande, The Codex, Kiske/Sommerville, Starbreaker and many more.
It was time for his own project; “MAGNUS KARLSSON’s FREEFALL“, which self-titled record debuted via Frontiers Music. This Japanese Edition includes an extra Asian-only track.
Magnus handled all the stuff (except drums, at charge of the excellent Daniel flores) and while he sings really good lead vocals, an all-star crew of top shouters were called to enrich these superbly crafted rockers.
Unerring like a straight arrow to the heart, “Freefall” is a killer release.
Magnus has made this disc from the point of view of a fan; no experimentation, no avant-garde twists, just phenomenal rockin’ tunes with brilliant punchy dynamics and an awesome sound.
The album title track is one of the best simply because everything there is perfect; sharp guitars (with a monster set-up sound), overwhelming rhythm section, swirling keys and the always kick ass vocals of Mr. Russell Allen.
Next, heavier and assassin yet extremely melodic, “Higher” rips your years with an out-of-this-world musical orchestration and showcasing a Ralf Scheepers on one of the best performances of his career.
As said, Magnus can sing leads alongside the best, and he does a great job on the epic semi-midtempo “Heading Out”, later on the keyboard dominated melodic hard rocker “Ready Or Not” (one of my favs) and the fist-raiser “On Fire”.
“Freefall” alternates thrilling uptempo cuts with more softer tunes like the sublime “Stronger” bringing us a lilting and sweet Tony Harnell or the Euro melodious rock of “Fighting”. For lovers of the strong throat of Mark Boals you have “Our Time Has Come” showing his more and sadly less explored velvety side.
And we have more pearls; David Readman on “Us Against The World” (great one), the memorable “Dreamers And Hunters” featuring a solid Mike Andersson on the mic and a dreamy acoustic version of “Stronger” in the Japanese bonus track.
MAGNUS KARLSSON’s FREEFALL debut is pure talent, skill and musicianship over a terrific set of songs that many bands would kill for.
You don’t need to kill anybody (well, maybe your eardrums), just go and get your copy of “Freefall” and rock on.
01. Free Fall (lead vocals: Russell Allen)
02. Higher (lead vocals: Ralf Scheepers)
03. Heading Out (lead vocals: Magnus Karlsson)
04. Stronger (lead vocals: Tony Harnell)
05. Not My Saviour (lead vocals: Rick Altzi)
06. Us Against The World (lead vocals: David Readman)
07. Our Time Has Come (lead vocals: Mark Boals)
08. Ready Or Not (lead vocals: Magnus Karlsson)
09. Last Tribe (lead vocals: Rickard Bengtsson)
10. Fighting (lead vocals: Herman Saming)
11. Dreamers & Hunters (lead vocals: Mike Andersson)
12. On Fire (lead vocals: Magnus Karlsson)
Japanese bonus track:
13. Stronger (Acoustic)
Magnus Karlsson – Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
Daniel Flores – Drums
Russell Allen (Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob)
Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear, Gamma Ray)
Tony Harnell (TNT, Starbreaker)
Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen, The Codex)
Rick Altzi (Masterplan, At Vance)
Mike Andersson (Star One, Full Force)
Rickard Bengtsson (Last Tribe)
Herman Saming (A.C.T.)
David Readman (Pink Cream 69, Voodoo Circle)