MAGNUS KARLSSON’S FREE FALL – Kingdom Of Rock

karlssonBack in 2013 Magnus Karlsson released an album entitled ‘Free Fall‘, a disc of hard rock collaborations with various guest vocalists that yielded mixed results. Mixed, maybe, but when those collaborations worked, in terms of classic hard rock, they hit the spot.

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BENEDICTUM – Obey

benedictumBenedictum’s third album ‘Dominion’ (released in 2010) presented a huge step forward for the US power metal outfit.  Their first release for Frontiers Records afforded the band a bigger budget than their previous and Benedictum seemed to relish this new beginning.  While the lyrics left much to be desired, musically it wasn’t a complete loss, including some impressive riffs throughout, bolstered by more than a few chunky drum parts.  ‘Dominion’ wasn’t an especially great record, but  by comparison, 2013’s ‘Obey’ is a crushing disappointment.

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GIUNTINI PROJECT – IV

IVTony ‘The Cat’ Martin rarely gets any credit for his time in Black Sabbath between 1987-90/1993-97.  That’s a pity, since he always did his absolute best with the given material, while tackling a job that – in rock terms – was the epitome of “dead man’s shoes”.  Maybe those six studio records would now be better respected if they’d been issued under a different band name?   We’ll never really know for sure.  In many ways, this fourth release from Italian guitar maestro Aldo Giuntini – the third to feature Martin – is similar to those largely unloved Sabbath records in that many of the tunes come at a stomping mid-pace with a gritty guitar sound – perfect in many ways for Martin’s vocal range.  While it’s a record with no real relevance at the time of its release [and certainly a far cry from the “breath of fresh air” promised in the press materials – what were they thinking?], it certainly would be unfair to suggest that ‘IV’ doesn’t have a good stab at providing some old school entertainment.

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