The debut album from Circus of Rock gave hard rock fans plenty to enjoy. The side project from King Company’s Mika Rantanen saw the Finnish musician collaborating with a whole host of familiar faces, including Tyketto’s Danny Vaughn, Axel Rudi Pell, Hardline vocalist Johnny Gioeli, and ex-Nightwish man Marco Hietala. This second outing for the Circus (released in May 2023) isn’t quite as impressive in terms of roll call, but any album that features vocal contributions from Uriah Heep’s Bernie Shaw and the legendary Jeff Scott Soto is definitely worth hearing.
Swedish guitarist Magnus Karlsson will be familiar to some rock fans as a collaborator on Jorn Lande and Russell Allen’s trilogy of albums, having lent some meaty musical chops to the works of those powerhouse vocalists. ‘Free Fall’ – Karlsson’s solo debut – follows in the melodic power metal tradition, with a roll call of impressive vocal talents helping to breathe life into his material, as well as some killer lead guitar work throughout.