MAGNUS KARLSSON’S FREE FALL – We Are the Night
Skilled Swedish guitarist Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear) is back with another bombastic offering under the Free Fall moniker and this time around he has enlisted the help of such talented singers as Ronnie Romero (Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Vandenberg) and Tony Martin (ex-Black Sabbath) among others. With a powerful albeit slightly stiff-sounding production and ten tracks that merge melodic (power) metal with hard rock to good effect, “We Are the Night” boasts plenty of massive riffs and soaring vocals that make for a pretty huge-sounding and oftentimes majestic listen. It should come as no surprise that the musicianship is staggering and having different vocalists appear on the album adds variety and color to the proceedings. In addition, there is a great flow to the record in terms of the sequencing and ordering of tunes. While many similar-sounding discs out there often tend to turn into pompous and bloated old carcasses consisting of nothing but rehashed ideas, Karlsson and his talented cohorts have crafted an inspired and melodically rich piece of work that comes across as convincing and focused.
My personal favorites and highlights include the Karlsson/Martin-penned epics that are “Temples and Towers” and “Far from Over” simply because they are the most passionate and heartfelt pieces here. However, “Kingdom Falls” featuring Renan Zonta kicks ass too and album opener “Hold Your Fire” is riveting with Dino Jelusick’s vocals reaching stratospheric heights here. Another muscular and meaty cut is “Dreams and Scars”, which is arguably one of the most aggressive tunes present on the record. In fact, the only two tracks that are less than stellar are the pedestrian “Don’t Walk Away” and the superfluous instrumental “On My Way Back to Earth”.
“We Are the Night” is neither musically daring nor even remotely innovative, but it is an enjoyable listening experience and a musically cohesive effort that packs plenty of punch. On top of that, it is soaked in just the right amount of grandiose atmosphere. Being a huge fan of Tony Martin’s timelessly brilliant work with Black Sabbath, it is truly a pleasure to hear him grace this opus with that incredible voice of his. Regardless of whether you are familiar with Karlsson’s previous work or simply on the lookout for an ambitious and catchy metal/hard rock output, this one is worth looking into.