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Articles Home » 2013 Articles » Karlsson, Magnus (and Freefall) - 2013 Magnus Karlsson's Freefall
Karlsson, Magnus (and Freefall) - 2013 Magnus Karlsson's Freefall

ARTIST: Karlsson, Magnus (and Freefall)
ALBUM: Magnus Karlsson's Freefall
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2013
SPONSOR: Frontiers Portal


LINEUP: Magnus Karlsson - lead vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards * Daniel Flores - drums

Guest Lead Vocals: Russell Allen, Ralf Scheepers, Tony Harnell, Rick Altzi, Mark Boals, David Readman, Herman Saming, Mike Andersson, Rickard Bengtsson

TRACK LISTING: 01 Free Fall * 02 Higher * 03 Heading Out * 04 Stronger * 05 Not My Saviour * 06 Us Against The World * 07 Our Time Has Come * 08 Ready Or Not * 09 Last Tribe * 10 Fighting * 11 Dreamers & Hunters * 12 On Fire * 13 Stronger (acoustic)



By default, I've been listening to this one quite a bit lately; K (for Karlsson) follows so soon after H (for Houston) on my smartphone media player. 'Freefall' is a pretty heavy album actually. When it's on - it's on, you can think any number of projects and bands that Magnus has been involved with, and that's a few, including current main band Primal Fear. Magnus has combined with Daniel Flores for his second major project this year (Find Me being the other notable). The duo have bought in some of the top shelf heavyweight vocalists within the HM world, and their contributions are spread throughout the 11 tracks presented. In the context of the recent debate going on here at GDM regarding Frontiers preference for creating projects and seeing 'what sticks', I guess you could throw 'Freefall' at the painted wall and wait for the fallout. So yes, I'm sure Frontiers had a big say in the final result, and the completed product is pretty good for what it is.

The Songs
'Free Fall' is the obvious opener, a massive wall of Ayreon like sound where big is bigger than big opens the show. Russell Allen lends his big pipes to this one. It shifts between a stomping form of metal and some restrained verses with acoustic parts coming through. The solo is all widdly-diddly, which means loads of arpeggio sweeps throughout this song and the album. Karlsson's Primal Fear team mate Ralf Scheepers joins for the absolute chugging 'Higher', where Magnus noodles in Zakk Wylde fashion, this is good. He also handles lead vocals on 'Heading Out', and to be honest he could probably have handled all the lead vocals himself if he chose to. Along with 'Stronger', these two songs are a milder form of metal. Some idiot elsewhere reviewed the latter track as something akin to Westlife. With Tony Harnell on lead vocals I don't think so! It's back to crunch time on 'Not My Saviour', featuring At Vance signer Rick Altzi. A powerful expression complimented by Altzi's rough edged voice which suits this song perfectly. You can tell that 'Us Against The World' is the ideal metallic anthem, and so it proves. Pink Cream 69's David Readman does the honours. I like the synth tinkles introducing 'Our Time Has Come', an OTT symphonic metal featuring Mark Boals, which operates in the middle sphere, though Magnus' guitar acts like a mighty hammer. More symphonic components fill up the space on 'Ready Or Not', Karlsson on lead vocals again and it's clear to me he can hold his own vocally. 'Last Tribe' sounds like an offshoot from his previous band of the same name. Add to the mix their lead singer Rickard Bengtsson and it's all happy families. 'Fighting' is another of those stomping rockers that evokes thoughts of Vikings and Norsemen. A.C.T's Herman Saming voice is not as strong as the other blokes, but still a good tune. The keyboards get a workout on 'Dreamers And Hunters, though it doesn't detract from a heavy sound. Cloudscape's Mike Andersson is the voice on this track. 'On Fire' is the final cut, and has a bit of everything really. Symphonic parts, fluid and fast soloing plus a melodic chorus.

In Summary
'Free Fall' is a pretty reasonable effort to be fair. It's gung-ho on guitar parts, solid arrangements and a gifted array of singers. Karlsson's isn't bad either, and as mentioned, he could've gone it alone if he wanted to, or was allowed to. The album doesn't really contain any fillers, so that could mean they had a whole bunch of tracks and cherry-picked the ones for selection. I've said it often in the past, but really, there is something for everyone on this album, and metal fans should embrace what could be the next solo act to kick down the walls within the HM genre.

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