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Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall – We Are The Night Award winner

Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall
We Are The Night
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 24 June 2020, 4:24 AM

MAGNUS KARLSSON’S FREE FALL is Traditional Heavy Metal band from Sweden. This is their third full-length album and first since 2015’s ‘’Kingdom of Rock’’. Magnus Karlsson brings his elite friends to the party and has some impressive guest vocalists including Ronnie Romero from RAINBOW, Tony Martin from BLACK SABBATH, Dino Jelusic from TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, Noora Louhimo from BATTLE BEAST and a slew more artists. This is his solo project, his baby no less and he is the main lyricist and songwriter like he does in other various projects like ALLEN-LANDE, ALLEN-OLZON and obviously, PRIMAL FEAR.

He is pretty much all over the place right now and he sure as hell doesn’t sit still very long. In the last 3 months, he has albums with PRIMAL FEAR, ALLEN-OLZON and this band. He is widely known as a great songwriter and lyricist throughout the world of Metal even though I felt his last effort with PRIMAL FEAR (about two years ago I believe) was very subpar. I haven’t listened to the ALLEN-OLZON album because of various reasons being I am not a fan of Annette Olzon as a person nor as a performer yet Russell Allen is one of the best vocalists out there for the last two decades. One of these days I’ll listen to it but not right now!

He obviously put the time and effort on this album and it shows, it’s five years of doodling and writing the album and the lyrics are more mature and the music is far superior than what I would imagine honestly. The guy can carry a tune and a melody yet he makes his guest singers shine a new light. He really shows his worth and his work on this album is far superior than what I have heard of the last PRIMAL FEAR album (I am reviewing it right, it’s coming along), and the previous album as well. You can’t knock them all out of the park. He feels refreshed, refocused and really driven.

Aside from his various projects for Frontier Music, he does a lot of producing and he does a fine job on this one, I felt it was more natural, nothing overblowned or overdone. He knows his music, he knows what he wants. Everything from the guitar shredding to the guest vocalists, everything is on point and doesn’t feel overproduced. He usually produces the PRIMAL FEAR albums and he did a mediocre job on the last album but he shines on this one, you can see that’s his baby and the precision he uses his pretty much immaculate.

I didn’t know he was such a talented singer, he really pours his heart and soul on ‘’Don’t Walk Away’’ and he does pretty much everything on the cool instrumental ‘’On My Way Back to Earth’’. He shows his chops in more ways than one and the guy can sing, he may not have that Ralf Scheepers range but the guy kills it. As for the other song, it’s six-string magic and straight fire, he shows off a bit on this one but it’s a nice change of pace from his other projects.

‘’Queen of Fire’’ is a powerful yet emotional Power Ballad, it’s well done and not too cheesy. Noora Luhimo is one of the very best female vocalist right now and she has some of the best range out there. We always talk about Elize Ryd, Simone Simons, Sharon Van Adel and Cristina Scabbia, yet Noora can belt it out like the best of them. She wears her emotions on her sleeve on this song and makes it her own.

The title track has the so underrated Tony Martin, he fronted BLACK SABBATH from 1987 to 1991 and then from late 1992 to 1997. He did leave his place as frontman for the returning Ronnie James Dio for the ‘’Dehumanizer’’ album but that lineup was short lived obviously. People should really check out those albums he fronted because the guy was such a great singer, he had his style, he was no DIO, no OZZY but yet he had his own personal style. He had the range and the presence and those albums are underrated at best. He does a great job on this title track and provides a vocal maturity like no other. Thoughts of him doing a whole album with Magnus Karlsson brings a huge smile to my face.

‘’Hold Your Fire’’ is my favorite track, we are bombarded by the majestic sounds of the six string samurai. He is in fine form and does not hold back and gives it his all. He seems to have fun on this song and it really shows. Like I said beforehand, he feels refreshed, reinvigorated on this album and it’s one hell of a way to start off an album. It has the energy, the drive you want in an opening track.

This is by far one of my favorite albums of 2020, just a treat for the ears and anyone that loves a good guitar shredder mixed in with some of the best vocalists out there should not pass this by. It’s the sort of album that this year sorely needed and just a very complete album from start to finish.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Hold Your Fire
2. Kingdom Falls
3. We Are The Night
4. Queen of Fire
5. Dreams and Scars
6. All the Way to the Stars
7. One by One
8. Under the Black Star
9. Temples and Towers
10. Don’t Walk Away
11. On My Way Back to Earth (Instrumental)
12. Far from Over
Lineup:
Magnus Karlsson – Guitars, Bass, Keyboards and Vocals
Jaime Salazar – Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music
     


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