The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world












The perfect instrumental introduction has to say something clear about an album, and this says it all. ‘Free Fall’ by Magnus Karlsson builds beautifully, heavy on guitar it ends up being the Metal anthem those first notes foreshadowed. It’s almost worth the price of admission in itself. But of course there is so much more…



For those unfamiliar with Magnus his band Last Tribe signed with Frontiers back in 2000. In 2008 he joined Germany’s Primal Fear and it’s been non-stop ever since, writing for and producing for a handful of artists and musicians. It’s these collaborations over recent years that led to ‘Free Fall’. As a project Magnus has brought on board a number of different singers and each song here plays to their respective strengths. And whereas some guitarist might be tempted to go over the top here it’s all about the songs themselves rather than the, truth be told, magnificent ‘fretsmanship’. This is one for fans of quality Metal.



One of my pet hates when reviewing an album like this is picking favourites, but if you don’t you always get the ‘what do I download’ e-mails so I always do, though on an album like this it changes with each listen. So pushed ‘Higher’ has to be up there – it’s a great showpiece for the mighty talents of Ralf Scheepers who provides our vocal highlight on the overawing Power Metal classic.  Elsewhere Tony Harnell excels on the emotionally charged ballad ‘Stronger’. And there I guess you have the two extremes. The rest though is just as good.



If you are looking for a slab of sing along eighties rock then try David Readman’s ‘Us Against The World’ built on keys and a fine solo. The best of the songs where Karlsson himself takes the mic is undoubtedly ‘Ready Or Not’: a keyboard introduction leads into one of the most melodic offerings here. It’s a beautiful composition. For those still undecided try the odd man out – the Prog-tinged ‘Dreamers & Hunters’. The desert is the acoustic opening to ‘On Fire’ another Karlsson vocal that closes the album gently and on the same high it began with.



Magnus Karlsson has created something special here that deserves to be heard. It will make many people’s ‘Best of’ lists for 2013 undoubtedly.




Mark Diggins