Frontiers Records [Release Date 14.6.13]

He may not be a household name, but Magnus Karlsson has been one of European hard rock’s go-to people for some time, assembling critically acclaimed projects like Starbreaker and Allen-Lande, writing prolifically, and for the past five years playing guitar for doyens of the power metal scene Primal Fear.

For his first album under his own name (though confusingly adopting the moniker current Swedish retro rockers), he has enlisted no less than nine different singers, mainly from past collaborations. Sometimes this can give an album a disjointed feel but on this case it is not at the expense of a cohesive set of songs.

Indeed it is interesting how the various guests adapt to his songwriting style- on our Time Has Come ex Malmsteen singer Mark Boals sounds like Bob Catley, whose last solo album Karlsson wrote, while I could have sworn the soaring vocals of the second track in, Higher, were those of TNT’s Tony Harnell, but in fact they are those of Primal Fear’s Ralf Scheepers. The former, who collaborated in Starbreaker, gives the ballad Stronger a typically smooth melodic feel, while other songs are in heavier territory and closer in feel to his present band such as Not My Saviour.

Magnus’ Malmsteen-esque guitar work is all over the album but never at the expense of the songs and his own voice loses nothing by comparison to his all-star guests on the three songs he sings, including Heading Out and Ready or Not, even though the latter’s keyboard riff sounds like a metal version of the old Blockbusters theme!

With an album that straddles the worlds of power metal and melodic rock with ease, Magnus Karlsson has come out of the shadows with an album to rival the best work he has produced.  ****

Review by Andy Nathan

The latest Josh Taerk live session was streamed on Sunday 21 November. Next session 12 December. The video above was a Halloween Special, streamed 31 October.

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David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 31 October 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at for that week.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 2 November 2021.

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From 1 December the Featured Albums and Power Play segments will reflect those artists and tracks featured during 2021.

Featured Albums w/c 15 November 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MEMORIA AVENUE Memoria Avenue (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FANS OF THE DARK Fans Of The Dark (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 HANNAH JAMES & TOBY KUHN Sleeping Spirals (Jigdoll Records)

Power Plays w/c 15 November 2021 (Mon-Fri)

THE FORGOTTEN Interstellar (FiXT Noir)
QUILL Riding Rainbows (indie)
DEAD REYNOLDS Uninspired (The Fort)
CAVALCADE Dreaming About (Golden Robot)
HANNAH ALDRIDGE Sinking (indie)
GREYHAVEN All Candy (Rude Records)

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