Released by: Frontiers Music Srl
Release date: 6 November 2015
Genre: Melodic Metal
Joe Lynn Turner
Tony Martin, Jakob Samuel
Rebecca De La Motte
Kingdom Of Rock (feat. Jorn Lande)
Out Of The Dark (feat. Jakob Samuel)
No Control (feat. Joe Lynn Turner)
When The Sky Falls (feat. Tony Martin)
Angel Of The Night (feat. David Readman)
I Am Coming For You
Another Life (feat. Rick Altzi)
Never Look Away (feat. Tony Harnell)
A Heart So Cold (feat. Harry Hess)
The Right Moment (feat. Rebecca De La Motte)
Walk This Road Alone
What do Kiske/Somerville, The Codex, Allen/Lande and Primal Fear have in common? They are all projects/bands, which involves the guitar-wizard Magnus Karlsson. With the Allen/Lande project he lsunched himself to Metal Legend Status. Magnus has the ability to write songs that are extremely catchy rock anthems which are heavy and definitely not cheesy. It is a fine balancing act in which he excells in. Most of all he has a sense for melodies which fit various singers perfectly. So it was not long before Magnus presented us his first solo record “Free Fall”. It featured a bunch of guest singers and was released in 2013. After 2 years his second solo album will be released in November 2015, entitled; “Kingdom Of Rock”. The album title may sound over the top but we will soon find out if this record can do justice to its title.
Getting straight to the point: “Kingdom Of Rock” combines the best of Magnus’ previous projects. There is so much stuff on this album that it reminds me of his older works. Magnus has managed it to give his songs a bit more varity this time. It’s still the typical anthemic Melodic Metal you would expect from him. There are no experiments on this album. So those of you whom hoped for something fresh and new will be a bit disappointed. Everyone else will fall in love with this album.
When I saw the final line-up of guests for this album, which is even bigger than last one, I was very excited about its prospects. The guest list includes TONY HARNELL (Skid Row, TNT, Starbreaker), RICK ALTZI (Masterplan, At Vance), DAVID READMAN (Pink Cream 69, Voodoo Circle), JORN LANDE, JAKOB SAMUEL (The Poodles), JOE LYNN TURNER (Rainbow, Malmsteen, Deep Purple), TONY MARTIN (Black Sabbath), HARRY HESS (Harem Scarem) and REBECCA DE LA MOTTE. So anyone who is familiar with these names and owns some of their albums can stop reading now and pre-order “Kingdom Of Rock” immediately!!! It is really that good!!!
It all starts with the great title track, which is performed by Jorn Lande. And you know what? This one makes you begging for a new Allen/Lande album, especially an album where Magnus handles the songwriting. The latest record was completely done by Timo Tolkki and although it was a solid album “Kingdom Of Rock” is better than any song of “The Great Divide”. Jorn sounds excellent and the guitars are razor sharp. After just one listen you can’t get the melody out of your head. It is a perfect start for an album.
The following track, “Out Of The Dark”, is an even heavier, pounding rocker. It is sung perfectly by Jakob Samuel. I can easily say that I wish for the latest Poodles album to sound like this track. The next highlight follows with “No Control”, which features the great Joe Lynn Turner on vocals. This song offers some amazing guitar work and music wise it shows a much different side of Karlsson’s songwriting. Maybe because “No Control” has more of a traditional Hard Rock tune with lots of AOR thrown in. Next in line is Tony Martin and his song “When The Sky Falls”. What an epic piece of music that features a superb hook line in the chorus. Somehow it also reminds me of a pretty cool album Magnus did with The Codex.
David Readman sings in “Angel Of The Night” and is a solid song in the vein of Pink Cream 69. However, it has a much better quality than the latest stuff from Readman and his band mates. Maybe all those singers should arrange for Magnus to do the songwriting for their upcoming records with their main bands.
The following track, “I Am Coming For You”, is another Codex-like song. Featuring Magnus himself on vocals and he really nails it. His voice is perfectly suited to this style of music. Even without guest vocalists this album just having Magnus sing would have made for a great album. We hear his voice again on the last track, “Walk This Road Alone”. This song is not as strong as the tracks before. I am referring to the ultra catchy “Never Look Away” with Tony Harnell on vocals and “A Heart So Cold” featuring Harry Hess. The latter sounds truly like an original Harem Scarem song. This illustrates how Magnus can write songs that fit to the vocalist perfectly. But also the atmospheric “The Right Moment” with Rebecca De La Motte on vocals is worth a mention as well as the solid, gritty rocker “Another Life” featuring Masterplan’s Rick Altzi.
There aren’t any weak songs on this album. With all these great vocalists each song has something very special to offer. The highlight on this album is (once more) the guitar work. Karlsson is an excellent guitarist and all these great, melodic solos and double-layered guitars refine every single song.
Magnus Karlsson delivers once again. “Kingdom Of Rock” does its title justice and is an enormous Melodic Metal highlight this autumn. It’s packed with hook-laden songs, outstanding vocal performances by some of the finest voices we have in Rock/Metal right now. Soaring guitars and a top-notch production handled by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Pretty Maids). This is a MUST-BUY for each and every metal-head out there.
Written by: Thomas Schwarzkopf