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Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall - Kingdom of Rock

Label: Frontiers
Format: CD download
Released: 2015
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 8/ 10


Magnus Karlsson is known for several projects including the Allen/Lande trilogy, Starbreaker, Kiske/Somerville, and he is a guitarist in Primal Fear. For this second solo album, Magnus handles playing guitars, bass, keyboards, and lead vocals, while being graced by the presence of several talented guest singers from hard rock and heavy metal to give each songs its needed attitude and texture. What you will enjoy about this collection of songs is Magnus chose to write traditional hard rock and metal. These songs can appeal to a broad audience, without catering to one genre in the hard rock/ heavy metal tree.

 

Several of these singers are from the European countries, and probably unfamiliar to many Americans. So here’s a lesson in overseas talent…Jorn Lande, who was blessed with a natural voice familiar to Dio, is on the opening title track. Jakob Samuel, from The Poodles, on ‘Out Of The Dark’ with its up tempo rhythm and complimenting leads has a touch of Euro power metal. David Readman, from Voodoo Circle (who also put out an excellent album this year) for ‘Angel Of The Night’, Harry Hess (Harem Scarem) on 80s rocker ‘A Heart So Cold’. The lone track with a female voice works as a compliment and contrast to the men and a little more symphonic.

‘No Control’ is 100% all AOR hard rock and perfect for legend Joe Lyn Tuner. One of my favorite tracks, the backing keys and chorus it’s just made for Turner who hasn’t lost a step in his tone and projection. For ‘When The Sky Falls’, it’s funny how well Magnus constructed a fitting riff and arrangement for ex-Black Sabbath singer Tony Martin (boy, it’s a shame how his contributions to Sabbath’s history gets ignored). This one could very well be a lost “Headless Cross” song. Well done!! Former TNT frontman Tony Harnell contributes to ‘Never Look Away’ which does have a couple qualities from his former band with the melodic lead riff and keys. Overall a pretty enjoyable listening experience.

 
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