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Written by  Jo Higginbotham

The most recent outing by Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall, We Are the Night, is as sophisticated as it is dark and riotous.  Like Karlsson’s other albums from this project, We Are the Night, features a variety of vocalists with Karlsson covering an assortment of instrumental and vocal roles.  This album elaborates various moods and themes through complex musical choices, and presents metal that is not only grand and heavy, but also thoughtful and compositional.

Metal comes in many forms, and this album takes elements from several, combining them with classical methods to give the album movement, not only in its style, but in its feeling.  Karlsson makes deliberate musical choices to provide a flow for the moods throughout; some songs feel darker than others, some transition from cynical to triumphant.  The symphonic and choral arrangements give a majestic impression from the first note of the album, and blend flawlessly with the striking overdriven guitars, rumbling bass, and fast drums. “Kingdom Falls,” featuring  Renan Zonta, particularly invokes that triumphant feeling with an extra brightness in the chorus, and a melody that feels anthemic.  The lyrics provide an image of a toxic authority losing their power, adding to that same anthemic feeling.

The melodic and harmonic choices are not only catchy, but provide melodic dances between Karlsson’s instrumentations and the various vocalists.  While the shredding can clash with some of the more charming rhythmic choices at times, there is a quality in the movement of the songs individually and as they flow together.  Songs move from fast and heavy, to moderate and pulled back, to dark and distorted, allowing the album to breathe as it progresses. “Queen Of Fire,” featuring Noora Louhimo, feels more like a ballad than a traditional metal song, yet fits right in with the heavier music around it.  These dynamic shifts add to the emotional weight already provided by Karlsson’s compositional choices, giving the entire project a thoughtful flow of movement from start to finish.

We Are the Night starts out with a large and imposing symphonic arrangement, leading to fierce vocals from Dino Jelusick in “Hold Your Fire.”  “Kingdom Falls” leads to the powerful title song, “We Are The Night,” with Karlsson taking the mic.  Mike Andersson takes on a choral hook in “All The Way To The Stars,” while Ronnie Romero leads us through a march in “One By One.”  Some of the freshness is admittedly lost during some of the middle songs, but the album absolutely finishes strong.  Karlsson’s musical prowess is especially apparent in the penultimate “On My Way Back To Earth,” which is a beautiful display of his ability to express various styles and moods with instrumental decisions. “Far From Over,” featuring Tony Martin is a dark and climactic finale to this album, leaving the listener with the best kind of mixed emotions.  All 12 songs on this album work cohesively to create movement in the overall experience.

We Are The Night is a pleasant reminder of the classical influence on metal, as well as a refreshing blend of the various forms of the genre itself.  The musical choices Karlsson makes, both within individual songs and the album as a whole, combined with a diversity of vocalists to compliment those choices, gives the album breath that keeps it fresh in a musical and emotional sense.  This is not just an album for the average rock or metal fan, but also for lovers of creative and compositional music.  Be sure to check We Are The Night when it drops on June 12th, its definitely one for the ages!


As always, rock on my friends!     Hunnypot Approved!     Overall Rating:  8.4 out of 10

Artist:  Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall,  LP: We Are the Night  Release Date: June 12th, 2020,   Label:  Frontiers Music Srl


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