Magnus Karlsson's Free Fall
Kingdom of Rock
Release Date: November 6, 2015
One listen to this album and I was immediately drawn back to the sunset strip and the glory days of hair metal, but upon further listening to this album it goes so much farther. Kingdom of Rock by Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall is an amazing album and I only wish I would have heard of him sooner. For anyone who hasn’t heard of Magnus Karlsson, let me give you a brief synopsis. Magnus Karlsson is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. He has been on many projects through Frontiers Music including Bob Catley’s solo album Immortal and also the Allen/Linde and Kiske/Somerville collaborations on which he was also the primary songwriter. Magnus has also been a member of Last Tribe, Midnight Sun, Starbreaker, and Primal Fear to name a few. Magnus’s talent as a songwriter is put to good use on Kingdom of Rock and any fans of 80’s hair metal or the Trans-Siberian Orchestra will absolutely love this album.
Kingdom of Rock starts off with a nice orchestral arrangement and kicks into an early “Europe” sounding rocker that doesn’t take any prisoners or doesn’t ask if you mind. Great track and the guitar work is impeccable. "Out of the Dark” should easily please any Dokken fan. With headphones on you would almost swear that it’s George Lynch playing on this track. “When the Sky Falls” starts off with an amazingly powerful “chant” and kicks into a Queensryche meets Dokken sounding rocker. Great groves and a sing a long chorus make for a phenomenal track. Even the Guitar solo could be sung along with. This track is extremely well-crafted and executed all the way through.
“Another Life” starts with a very worldly mandolin and makes you almost believe you are listening to a Celtic track before breaking into a powerhouse fret burning rocker. And then morphs again into a very catchy example of what made “Hair Metal” so much fun. Again it’s just exceptionally written all the way through. “The Right Moment” contains everything that makes the power ballad so good. Strong lyrics that are allowed to shine and the instrumentation is spot on. Nothing is overpowering and there’s is room for everything. It is refreshing not to hear things fighting for their space in the mix. This album closes with “Walk this Road Alone” and anyone that likes the Trans-Siberian Orchestra will love this track. This is an extremely powerful closing track with massive hooks in all the right places.
Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall is a giant breath of fresh air. The musicianship is untouchable and the guest singers were carefully chosen to lift the already great songs to even greater heights. I said before that any fan of 80’s hair metal would love this, but I have to say that anyone that loves great songs with powerful vocals and guitars will love this album. From fans of T.S.O. and Yngwie Malmsteen to Hair metal will absolutely enjoy this listening experience. I, myself, being a certified guitar geek and metal nerd can’t stop listening to this. Thank you, Magnus, for one hell of an album and for reminding all of us what made hair metal and the guitarists from that era so enjoyable. So c’mon everyone put on your denim and leather, raise your horns to the sky and enter into the Kingdom of Rock.
Reviewed by: Dave 1340