The Ferrymen - The Ferrymen

The Ferrymen cover
The Ferrymen
The Ferrymen
Frontiers Music Srl
Average: 6.8 (12 votes)
The Ferrymen are a new project featuring guitarist Magnus Karlsson (Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall, Primal Fear), vocalist Ronnie Romero (Lords Of Black, Rainbow) and drummer Mike Terrana (Tarja, Rage, Axel Rudi Pell, Vision Divine, etc.)…
I must say I was a little apprehensive towards this, as a number of other “projects” from various stars of the Frontiers roster seemed to be quite “meh”, or not terribly exciting, despite their illustrious participants. Karlsson also has been known to offer a lot of songs – towards such projects, usually pretty good ones, but almost always spread across numerous different albums/artists. Here he seems to channel a lot of his greatest songwriting into a project of his own and that pays dividends. Terrana – a beastly drummer is underutilized probably, but on the other hand, it’s great to see that such a renowned player is not “overplaying”, but is doing what’s right for the songs… also the sound of his kit is a breath of fresh air, although I’m a little curious about the overall mix with the guitars sounding quite entangled in a symbiosis with the bass that has no clear winner, but mars the overall sound a bit. Romero, here is given full freedom, sounding a lot more impressive than he does in Lords Of Black… his Dio meets Freddie Mercury vocal, is epic, brooding and full of sentiment, although again in some cases, it seems to try to antagonize the over the top loud drums, in a mix that leaves a bit to be desired.
But as far as songs go, this modernized “Rainbow-inspired” power metal material that Karlsson has come up with is pretty damn exciting. The riffs are good, but the best thing is the choruses that he makes sure “work” every time…
“End of the Road” is pretty epic and reminiscent of Dio but in a more liberal way, while the “Ferrymen” is an excellent piece of melodic metal with teeth…
“Fool You All” has some pretty strong riffing that’s reminiscent of mid era Dio, not a bad thing by any means.
“Still Standing Up” has nice dynamics, while “Cry Wolf” is probably the best song up to that point in the album, with Romero unleashing a mighty howling vocal in the chorus (not a wolf howl – mind ya)…
“One Heart” allows him to also flex his more melodic muscles, being a ballad, with a powerful chorus.
“Darkest Hour” is also good, as is the even more melodic “How the Story Ends” more but despite the barrage of good choruses, the constant “mid-tempo” crunch seems to cause a light fatigue to the listener, a fact that made me hope for some faster song…
“Enter Your Dream” unfortunately is not that fast and despite a good overall vibe and some beautiful soloing, it doesn’t move the album forward in a way other than slightly plodding along.
“Eyes on the Sky” is a little better in that respect, a bit more energetic, but this time the chorus is just not as good although some verses make up and despite the livelier drumming, things just don’t get “pedal to the metal”, which would be nice to see even once…
“Eternal Night” further seals the fate of the album’s “mid tempo” characterization, by being a ballad. A pretty good one, with neat solos, but… “Welcome to My Show” refers to Dio songs directly and is finally a bit faster – (but it’s too little – too late).
An acoustic version of “One Heart” in the Japanese edition makes for a nice addition, feeling better than the original electric.
A pretty good album that after the first dozen of songs is just caught in a continuous mid-tempo hell that sucks a bit out of its dynamic and cool and doesn’t get to try and reverse things, until the very end. The mix grows on you, but could have been a bit better and while the songwriting is some of the strongest Karlsson has done in a while. The overall result suffers a bit by the tempo being too similar across the board. Still, worth checking out, if only to enjoy Romero’s fantastic vocals.

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