Album Review: Magnus Karlsson’s Freefall – Kingdom Of Rock

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Magnus Karlsson of Sweden, who is known for his work with Primal Fear, Allen/Lande, Kiske/Somerville and others is back with another collection of amazing vocalists for his Freefall project. In 2013 Karlsson released his first solo musical project and with the success of that Freefall CD, Frontiers Records will now release the sophomore Kingdom Of Rock on November 6, 2015.

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Karlsson is on Guitar, Bass, Keyboards and Vocals. On drums, we have Jaime Salazar with production by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Primal Fear, Amaranthe, Pretty Maids and more). Mostly compiled of new vocalists, Karlsson has invited 3 more back from the first album.

For me, this has been one of the most anticipated albums for 2015. The first album blew me away. Vocalists from some of my favourite bands such as Ralf Scheepers of Primal Fear, and David Readman of Pink Cream 69, along with Russell Allen of Allen/Lande.

This time, the album starts off with the title track “Kingdom of Rock” with Jorn Lande on vocals. Anything Lande touches turns to gold and this track is no less. A great combo of Karlsson/Lande gives this album a melodic kick of what is to come.

Next up is “Out Of The Dark” with Jakob Samuel from The Poodles on vocals. A very powerful, rocking, energetic track as Samuel is known for, mixed with the amazing guitar work of Karlsson.

Continuing with “No Control” with Joe Lynn Turner who takes over vocals. Turner has been around in the music world for years and his experience is a huge asset to this album. A great chorus that has you singing along makes this a great overall rock song.

Tony Martin, another veteran on vocals for “When The Sky Falls” starts off slow, then leads into a heavier feel. This the longest song on the CD has a different sound than the first 3 songs. It takes you on a mystical ride as a well-written masterpiece that is put together only as expected from Karlsson.

No stranger to the Freefall project is David Readman of Pink Cream 69 on “Angel Of The Night“. As a fan of anything Readman touches this is no letdown. A straight forward rock song with a heavier edge to keep this most amazing album rocking!

With Karlsson singing on 3 of the tracks on the first Freefall, this is one of 2 on the new CD. “I Am Coming For You“. This guy can do no wrong. With the first album proving he can belt out the lyrics to some amazing songs, he has continued the momentum. It is great to see so many awesome singers on one album, but Karlsson can easily take over the vocals for a full-length CD. As much as he is a great guitarist his vocals are right on key to a perfect melodic rock sound.

Another Life” is next with Rick Altzi on vocals, and he is welcomed back on the Freefall project. I am only familiar with Altzi from his track on Freefall. Another great track with heavier guitar work from Karlsson.

Another vocalist Tony Harnell, who is the new Skid Row front man, is back as well on Kingdom of Rock singing “Never Look Away“. I have always been a fan of Harnell from back in his days with TNT, who adds a great touch as he did with the first Freefall.

The track I have been waiting for from one of my favourite bands, Harem Scarem is Harry Hess on “Heart So Cold“. Wow! A true treat and highlight for me. Karlsson/Hess team up to give this track a heavier feel for Hess‘s voice as it is so distinctive and hard not to compare his work with Harem Scarem and the Pete Lesperance sound on guitar.

Magnus Karlsson photoRebecca De La Motte takes on the next track, “The Right Moment“, a new voice to me and I think many others as well. A beautiful slow song. De La Motte has such a nice voice. For the non-ballad lovers, you might be tempted to skip through this but don’t. It’s not all about De La Motte as the guitar work is sensational. This would be a great radio hit, but we all know the good rock music doesn’t make the radio!

Karlsson finishes this incredible melodic rock album by singing “Walk This Road Alone“. A slower pace track that leads into some heavy guitar riffs and a great chorus. The worst part is it all comes to an end.

What I love about Karlsson is his songwriting, from the music to the lyrics. I am not hot on guitar solos and respect the amazing guitar work of some legends, but Karlsson‘s guitar work has a feeling throughout his solos and songs of meaning.

Big credit for Salazar as all the tracks on this CD have him pounding on the drums and bringing each song alive with the work of Karlsson and each vocalist. We must always remember a good drummer keeps the music together and alive.

Many great CD’s have been out in 2015 and there are more to come. I will be surprised if this doesn’t crack my top 5 as right now I am feeling this may be the #1 release of 2015!

Shawn “Animalize” Irwin

BUY: Magnus Karlsson’s Freefall – Kingdom of Rock

Magnus Karlsson’s Freefall on Facebook / Frontiers Records

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