At first I was a bit suspicious, even skeptical, about Magnus Karlsson's first solo album, Magnus Karlsson's Freefall The talented songwriter, producer, and guitarist wanted to write songs for some of his favorite vocalist. But would his excellent guitar skill take a back seat? Not in the least, with a sigh of relief.
While you can check out the personnel at right, Karlsson has recruited some notable vocal dignitaries like Russell Allen, Ralf Scheepers, and Tony Harnell to sing his songs. Karlsson himself handles three songs, and he's very good singer. If he had wanted to make this a complete solo effort, he could have easily handled all the vocal duties.
Yet the questions remain, do the songs and singers work, and does Karlsson burn up the fret board? The answer to the former is yes, with one exception, and to the latter, absolutely. Fundamentally, to begin, none of this work if Karlsson was not an exceptional songwriter. So writing for a vocalist in mind, considering his vast experience, comes with some ease to him. Speaking to the aforementioned three vocalists, Freefall, Higher, and Stronger work perfectly for them. Harnell on Stronger could be the best piece here. Yet another solid song is Last Tribe, where Karlsson pairs the song with Rickard Bengtsson, friend and lead vocalist with his earlier band of the same name. The one low spot comes on Not My Savior with Rick Altzi (At Vance, Masterplan), who clearly didn't bring his 'A' game to the microphone. Alternatively, on a positive note, Magnus Karlsson did. If you like his fiery fret work, there's plenty of it here. Freefall is a solid and entertaining album from the quite talented Karlsson (and company).
Recruiting some top notch metal vocalist, composer and guitarist Magnus Karlsson delivers an satisfying album of melodic metal featuring great singing and his exceptional guitar playing.
Free Fall (lead vocals: Russell Allen); Higher (lead vocals: Ralf Scheepers); Heading Out (lead vocals: Magnus Karlsson); Stronger (lead vocals: Tony Harnell); Not My Saviour (lead vocals: Rick Altzi); Us Against The World (lead vocals: David Readman); Our Time Has Come (lead vocals: Mark Boals); Ready or Not (lead vocals: Magnus Karlsson); Last Tribe (lead vocals: Rickard Bengtsson); Fighting (lead vocals: Herman Saming); Dreamers & Hunters (lead vocals: Mike Andersson); On Fire (lead vocals: Magnus Karlsson)
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