Album Review: Magnus Karlsson's Free Fall - Hunt The Flame
Reviewed by Richard Oliver
Magnus Karlsson is quite the prolific artist in melodic rock and metal circles playing in several bands and spearheading many collaborations and projects for Frontier Records. His work ethic and ever growing list of credits are getting close to rivalling that of Rogga Johanssen (a fellow Swedish musician who is involved in a seemingly never endless list of extreme metal bands and projects) and with all the bands and projects that Magnus has going on, he has still managed to release several solo albums (you do wonder how he finds the time to eat and sleep!).
The latest of these solo releases under the tag of Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall is titled 'Hunt The Flame' and is the fourth solo album from Magnus. Much like the previous three albums it sees Magnus producing and performing the majority of the music (with Anders Kollerfors handling the drums) whilst teaming up with an impressive roster of singers from the world of AOR, melodic hard rock, heavy metal and power metal (and also plenty of singers associated with Frontier Records and many of the bands and projects that Magnus is himself involved in).
Each of the eleven songs that makes up 'Hunt The Flame' has a different singer with appearances from vocalists such as James Durbin (ex-Quiet Riot) on the powerful ‘Thunder Calls’, Michael Eriksen (Circus Maximus) on the dark yet anthemic ‘Nightbird’, Alexander Strandell (Crowne) on the driving title track, Jake E (Cyhra) on the hook-tastic ‘Demons Of Our Time’ and Raphael Mendes (Icon Of Sin) on the dramatic ‘Following The Damned’.
The music on 'Hunt The Flame' can be described as a mix of melodic hard rock, traditional heavy metal, power metal and AOR with massive choruses and even bigger hooks. There are similarities to the other projects and bands Magnus is involved in such as Allen/Olzen and The Ferrymen but there is bound to be some crossover. What is impressive is that, despite all the other material he is putting out, the quality of these songs is as strong as it is. Magnus really is both a talented musician and gifted songwriter with a key ear for melody and the ability to write some absolute earworms. One criticism you could level is that the album is very samey throughout but there is no denying the quality of it even if it lacks variation. This is another top quality melodic hard rock and metal release from the one of the main players in the genre right now.