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martinamohr, Steinmetal, 70 guests

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Magnus Karlsson's Freefall - Self-Titled Award winner

Magnus Karlsson's Freefall
Self-Titled
by YngwieViking at 10 June 2013, 9:55 PM

No, it’s not a brand new Metal Opera… It could have been another pointless solo release or a new embarrassing ‘for guitar fans only’ album filled with just self-indulgent mindless noodling, luckily, in fact it’s the exact opposite. I sincerely think, it's indeed a great disc , maybe one of the essential 2013 purchase, warmly recommended for every Scandinavian Metal fans and smart Headbangers out there, a great disc where Magnus Karlsson is finally showing time again a real focus on his guitar playing and where he seems to be interested on contributing with some shredding maniac habits, the same antics like he used to play in the early times of LAST TRIBE (a criminally underrated band with three very suggested titles to hunt for ). Some of those intense clever solo pieces packed with melodic whirlwind frenzy & high technical chops: All this elements certainly has missed me for quite a long time now.

His numerous six strings prowess, were more or less into a shrouded vault since he was under a songwriting duty work and engaged into many external commitments for ALLEN / LANDE or BOB CATLEY and someone else for a decade or so, but what I really love this time, it’s that he show to the world his real guitar's guts with some mind blowing bad-ass riffs along with a few smoking hi-speed licks. Most of us had already noticed that the young Swedish guy is a true magician and also his obvious aptitude to write great cuts in the classical Scandinavian Melodic Metal Mode seems very natural and almost blissful, so, this time again I'm glad to say that his songwriting skills are also very enlightened with some impressive and soon highly rated vocal performances, some passionate interpretations provided by a legendary bunch of brilliant vocalists.

The all-star guest list is really breathtaking and exciting:

Russel Allen (SYMPHONY X / ADRENALINE MOB), Ralf Scheepers (ex-TYRAN’ PACE / ex-GAMMA RAY / PRIMAL FEAR), Tony Harnell (ex-TNT / ex-MORNING WOOD / ex-WESTWORLD / STARBREAKER), Rick Altzi (AT VANCE / FREQUENCY / MASTERPLAN / THUNDERSTONE / SANDALINAS / ex-HERMAN FRANK / ex-EPYSODE), David Readman (PINK CREAM 69 / VOODO CIRCLE / ex-ADAGIO / ex-DELANY / ex-MISSA MERCURIA / ex-MISHA CALVIN), MARK BOALS (ex-RISING FORCE / ex-BILLIONAIRES BOYS CLUB / ex-RING OF FIRE / ex-ULI JON ROTH / ex-ROYAL HUNT / SYZYGY / THE CODEX / IRON MASK / HOLY FIRE / SEVEN THE HARDWAY / JOSHUA),RICKARD BENGTSSON (LAST TRIBE / ex-ARMAGEDDON), HERMAN  SAMING (A.C.T. / LOCOMOTIVE BREATH), MIKE ANDERSSON (CLOUDSCAPE / FULLFORCE / SILENT MEMORIAL / ex-PLANET ALLIANCE / ex-MOUNTAIN OF POWER).

Maybe the most improved and the more consistent who’s who in the contemporary Melodic side of Metal and good news: no Female soprano which is a gimmick as I'm sick and really tired of.

With such a stellar line-up and a free direction in the music genre and not a particular style to match up : it's a real feast for our Metal ears  the only constraint for the ex-MIDNIGHT SUN alumni Magnus Karlsson was to choose carefully each guest member and then let their divine voices influenced the track while composing, the full spectrum of his genius is exhibited proudly from melodic Power Metal (”Higher”) to highly harmonized flavored Prog Metal (”Fighting”) from Modern Rock Power Ballad (“Stronger” ) to anthem like Hard Rocking infused AOR with sharp dynamics (”Our Time Has Come”) including every time , throwing in between a fistful of short but energetic and convincing Axe solos spots… Each track seems better than the other, not single filler in sight and he even managed to keep a unity in this heterogenic collection.

The trick here is, he tried to compose each song with a specific singer in mind, selected the perfect key and the right range to makes every vocalist shining and he succeed at 100%, in concentrate his most powerful capacities into a hell of an album; like a perfect resume of his musical career so far. Without any label pressure or stylistic servitude, his natural endowment is developed purely without any interference, he also reveals himself as a great Lead Singer beside to his producer gifts and of course his fret board fireworks science.

My Japanese edition contains as a bonus : the fourth tracks featuring PRIMAL FEAR’s guitarist Karlsson as vocalist, it's another version of "Stronger" .Those who still don't discovered his amazing expertise should be now convinced by such an ultimate demonstration…I believe that with someone as much talented as Mr. Karlsson: Only the sky is the limit.

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Free Fall (lead vocals by Russell Allen)
2. Higher (lead vocals by Ralf Scheepers)
3. Heading Out (lead vocals by Magnus Karlsson)
4. Stronger (lead vocals by Tony Harnell)
5. Not My Saviour (lead vocals by Rick Altzi)
6. Us Against The World (lead vocals by David Readman)
7. Our Time Has Come (lead vocals by Mark Boals)
8. Ready or Not (lead vocals by Magnus Karlsson)
9. Last Tribe (lead vocals by Rickard Bengtsson)
10. Fighting (lead vocals by Herman Saming)
12. Dreamers & Hunters (lead vocals by Mike Andersson)
13. On Fire (lead vocals by Magnus Karlsson)
14. tronger –acoustic- (lead vocals by Magnus Karlsson)
Lineup:
Magnus Karlsson – Lead Vocals / Guitars / Bass / Keyboards
Daniel Flores - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records
     


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