Album Review: The Ferrymen – Self-Titled

By Ryan Falla

The Ferrymen is a new project featuring the talents of vocalist Ronnie Romero (Lords of Black, Rainbow), drummer Mike Terrana (Tarja Turunen, Yngwie Malmsteem) and guitarist Mangnus Karlsson (Primal Fear). As these musicians are primarily associated with power metal acts, it’s no surprise to hear them come together to form a supreme being of melodic power metal.

As you throw on the debut record by The Ferrymen you’ll notice the striking vocal resemblance to Ronnie James Dio (R.I.P); a perfect fit for the band considering Romero’s time spent fronting Rainbow during recent reunion shows. I would go as far as to say Dio is a decent jumping off point in terms of the band’s musical stylings.

Now, with that being said it also needs to be noted that The Ferrymen approach their songwriting with a far greater focus on melodic metal, so Dio fans won’t find a familiar comfort with this record. As all good power metal should, The Ferrymen take you on a sonic, high flying musical journey on the backs of winged guitars fueled by power solos. This is pushed to even greater heights with the heavy melodic approach; another infusion of sonic power into the music.

Unfortunately this record tends to fall into the usual drawbacks of power metal, a genre that can find itself hitting a repetitive nature. The heavy focus on vocals, as powerful as they may be, draw away from the actual foundation of the music. The power solos are great, yet as they come off the backs of passive chorus work, instrumentally they don’t hit as hard as they should. All the punch comes from the vocals which causes a lot of what else is happening to become lost in the focus, which is disappointing because there are a lot of great things happening in the music. The drum work by Mike Terrana carries a musical tune within itself that fuels the emotional engagement the musical work draws you into, but you might miss it with the focus being elsewhere.

The issue with power metal is its tendency to shift focus all over the place; either you have phenomenal guitar work flying in your face or a powerful voice bursting through your eardrums into your skull. If you’re lucky you might catch some drum work that isn’t entirely focused on supporting everyone else, though with Mike Terrana his natural power pushes through hard so when it ends up coming out it comes out strong.

The Ferrymen is a competent, though fairly run of the mill, melodic power metal album that I would recommend if asked about it. It’s good stuff if this is what you’re looking for, there’s a lot of talent and strong songwriting throughout the record. That being said, as the record goes on, the vocal based writing takes a lot away from what could be more than just a typical power metal record.

The ingredients are there, the execution just seems to be slight off the mark.

Rating: 6.5/10

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Record Label: Frontiers
Release Date: June 2nd 2017

Track Listing:
01. End Of The Road (4:32)
02. Ferryman (4:47)
03. Fool You All (3:42)
04. Still Standing Up (5:20)
05. Cry Wolf (4:56)
06. One Heart (6:10)
07. Darkest Hour (4:29)
08. How The Story Ends (4:55)
09. Enter Your Dream (4:19)
10. Eyes On The Sky (5:13)
11. Eternal Night (4:52)
12. Welcome To My Show (4:15)

Total Duration: 58:40

The Ferrymen links: facebook