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Vocals: Russell Allen, Ralf Scheepers, Magnus Karlsson, Tony Harnell, Rick Altzi, David Readman, Mark Boals, Rickard Bengtsson, Herman Saming and Mike Andersson.
Swedish multi instrumentalist and producer Magnus Karlsson has gathered a bunch of vocalists from all kinds of rock and metal, written songs to fit each and everyone's style and topped it with Daniel Flores behind the drum kit. This equals a melodic metal experience with mainly good and great songs, yet not totally awesome or extraordinary. It's a journey that reach about halfway to total success, which may sound cryptic when the album in fact carry a most pleasant fifty-five minutes of heavy rocking and soul binding material.
Karlsson handles his instruments on this Free Fall debut with a certain brilliance in his soloing and with his occasional heavy riffing and he proves that he's capable of writing and playing songs in different metal genres as well. With lead vocals on three tracks, he further shows that these chores is what he does best. This is, what I know of, also the first time ever I get to hear his lead vocals and I must say, I couldn't have done it better myself. His production is somewhat clean on a moderate level, suitable for these melodic and captivating songs. I won't endeavor to go through each singer's individual effort, so you just have to trust my word that they fulfill their duties with grandeur and dignity.
It's indeed melodic all through, with a pair of ballads and some slightly faster and heavier tracks. Each song throughout this release is rather varied and approached with control and thought. A couple of songs hit me right in the guts. The opener Free Fall featuring Symphony X's Russell Allen is heavy rocking. The strongly Primal Fear influenced Higher with a screaming Ralf Scheepers makes my head bang, as I'm a huge fan of the German's vocals and also the drums in that song feel like they could have been ripped from just about any song from that named band's discography. Ready or Not, featuring the main man on vocals, is strongly captivating and I love the guitar play in that song. Much to my surprise I also totally dig this album's AOR track number one, the Herman Saming sung Fighting, which is catchy to the edge of ridiculousness.
All in all, a very uplifting and captivating record, qualifying in at the rating of 7 strong chalices. Karlsson is a highly productive man and I wouldn't be astonished if his days in Primal Fear were counted, now when he has this release to fall back on. A surprisingly solid album from the Sweden native and his crew.