MAGNUS KARLSSON'S FREEFALL - Kingdom Of Rock (Review)

Wed
11
Nov
information persons: 
content: 
95%
Produced By: 
Magnus Karlsson
Running Time: 
54
Release Date: 
2015
Released: 
Worldwide
Musical Style: 
Hard Rock / Melodic Metal
Label: 
Frontiers
Release Year: 
2015
Friday, November 6, 2015
Categories: 
 
Swedish guitarist Magnus Karlsson (the man behind Allen/Lande, Starbreaker and more) returns with his second “Freefall” album, featuring another cast of all-star guests and powerhouse melodic metal/hard rock songs.
Following the acclaim of his solo debut, Magnus had a lot to live up to here. In my opinion, he does so with ease, even if this time the emphasis is slightly different than the first opus.
 
Kingdom Of Rock is just as powerful and as perfectly produced and mixed as the debut, but this is a more commercial record with a hard rock heart – even some powerful ‘melodic rock’. The metal edge has definitely been toned down.
Some of that has to do with the guest vocalists involved. All music and lyrics as well as everything but the drums (added by Jaime Salazar), plus all the production is from the hand of Magnus. That’s really quite extraordinary for an album of this caliber.
 
Kingdom Of Rock (Jorn Lande, vocals) is classic Magnus/Allen Lande and the perfect opener. Also my favourite track on the album just for Jorn’s killer vocal and the melodic hook in the chorus.
Out Of The Dark (Jakob Samuel, vocals) is something resembling The Poodles but all metal baby! Jakob’s voice stretches that bit further to hammer out a great hard rock song here.
No Control (Joe Lynn Turner, vocals) is JLT at his best also. The track is essentially a heavy melodic rock track with a great catchy chours.
When The Sky Falls (Tony Martin, vocals) is a slower, moodier and heavier track and Tony sounds brilliant. A nice melodic metal track that has a hint of Dio to it.
 
Angel Of The Night (David Readman, vocals) is another chunky hard rocker, this time with PC69’s David Readman controlling the sound. And as with the other tracks, Magnus let’s David’s personality shine through.
I Am Coming For You is another fairly commercial hard rock track, with Magnus himself on vocals. He really does have a good voice, he could easily carry this project by himself.
Another Life features current Masterplan vocalist Rick Altzi and swiftly manages to sound better than anything off the last Masterplan album.
 
Never Look Away is brilliant. Another fast moving melodic hard rocker, with the brilliant Tony Harnell delivering a Starbreaker friendly track. His voice and Magnus’ sound are just wonderful to hear each time. A great chorus takes it over the top.
A Heart So Cold could be one of the surprise tracks. Harem Scarem’s Harry Hess goes metal for this all-in rocker with a big chorus and even bigger vocals. Harry adapts brilliantly to the heavier sound and rips through this.
The Right Moment (Rebecca De La Motte, vocals) is a big symphonic ballad that could easily be on a Within Temptation or Nightwish album. Love it!
The album closes with Magnus on vocals again. I’m really enjoying the tone of his voice and Walk This Road Alone is a heavy, slightly progressive metal track that takes the album out on a heavy (and classy) note.

 
This is an easy one. If you have any Starbreaker/Allen Lande/MK produced album in your collection, then this is a buy or die release.
If you like melodic metal or hard rock with a heavy but melodic edge and can appreciate some of the best vocalists in the business doing their thing, this also demands buying.
A thoroughly enjoyable album that is consistently strong throughout, despite the use of different vocalists which can sometimes bring a project unhinged. Not on this occasion!
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Score: 
95