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Magnus Karlsson's Free Fall
Magnus Karlsson's Free Fall
Released: 2013, Frontiers Records
Magnus Karlsson is probably one of the busiest guys in heavy metal and hard rock. Starting from releasing three albums with his first band LAST TRIBE, he’s gone on to be something of an in-house song writer/guitarist for Frontiers Records, contributing his writing and riffery to albums by the likes of Bob Catley, Kiske/Sommerville, Starbreaker, and Allen/Lande. On top of all that, he’s also been a permanent member of Primal Fear since 2008. That’s a lot, and it doesn’t really leave a lot of time for one’s own musical pursuits…assuming there is anything left after all of that!
Disclosure: I’ve become quite a big fan of Karlsson over the years, but felt that he was stretching himself too thin as I seemed to like each successive release he’s contributed to less and less. So when I heard that he was releasing his first solo album, I was happy, but also a bit skeptical. With that said, I’m thrilled that FREE FALL is hands down one of the best albums Karlsson has ever done, and certainly one of the top albums of 2013. I was hooked the instant that the incredible title track hits, powered by Symphony X’s inimitable Russell Allen, and it didn’t let up until the end of closer, “On Fire”. Throughout, Karlsson unleashes some of his best riffs and hooks, and even shows off his soloing skills. I’m not kidding when I say that there’s not a single bad song on the disc.
Karlsson was also smart enough to use his considerable connections in the business to get a veritable army of guest vocalists to sing on the album, with the standouts being the aforementioned Allen, as well as David Readman (“Us Against the World), and Ralf Scheepers (“Higher”). Karlsson himself takes the mic on three tracks and proves that, while he cannot compete with the likes of his guests, he can more than hold his own on vocals.
There have been a ton of great albums released already this year, with many more to come, but I know the amount of been listening to FREE FALL, that it will definitely be in my Top 10 of the year, if not my Top 5 – it’s that good. If you’re a fan of any of the aforementioned bands, or just like great heavy rock, this is a must have.
1. Free Fall
3. Heading Out
5. Not My Saviour
6. Us Against the World
7. Our Time Has Come
8. Ready or Not
9. Last Tribe
11. Dreamers & Hunters
12. On Fire
Magnus Karlsson: Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals (tracks 3, 8, 12)
Daniel Flores: Drums
Michael Anderson: Vocals on track 11
Herman Saming: Vocals on track 10
Rikard Bengtsson: Vocals on track 9
Mark Boals: Vocals on track 7
David Readman: Vocals on track 6
Rick Altzi: Vocals on track 5
Tony Harnell: Vocals on track 4
Ralf Scheepers: Vocals on track 2
Russell Allen: Vocals on track 1
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