Writing reviews can be challenging depending on the product being reviewed. The Ferrymen’s self-titled debut album could pretty much write itself. It is that good. I am going to say before I go any farther; it will be in my top five albums for the year. The Ferrymen are made up of: guitarist Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear, Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall), vocalist Ronnie Romero (Lords Of Black, Rainbow) and drummer Mike Terrana (Rage and Axel Rudi Pell).
I was immediately attracted by the album’s amazing artwork. The cover shows a rather evil looking ferryman in his boat with skeletons as his passengers.
When listening to the album I was drawn in by Romero’s vocals. He has been compared to the late Ronnie James Dio, and he was handpicked by Richie Blackmore for the recent Rainbow reunion shows. His voice has hints of Dio but he sounds more like Robin McCauley, with touches of Blackie Lawless and I think that is why I enjoy his vocals so much. Karlsson’s guitar work is amazing on the album and is very heavy and melodic. His guitar playing style reminds me of Zakk Wylde combined with Steve Vai.
The opening track on the album is “End of the Road.” The track opens with a light piano and blasts into Karlsson’s guitar. As much as I enjoyed this track, the next is one of my favorites. “Ferryman” starts out with another short piano intro then explodes into screaming guitar riffs. This track has some of my favorite lyrics of the whole album:
“Heaven just a little longer
A journey that will make you a little stronger
I’ll take you to the other side
Crossing a dark river
I promise I will deliver
Your sole to the other side
I’m the Ferryman”
Track three is “Fool You All” and it plays no games. It starts out hard and fast with guitar and bass. On this track, I can really hear the Zakk Wylde influence in the guitar. The guitar solo on this song is amazing. It has the sound of an Yngwie Malmsteen guitar solo. The Ferrymen continue their journey with solid tracks like “Still Standing Up” and “Cry Wolf.” Things slow down a bit for the power ballad “One Heart.” The song starts with acoustic guitar and that theme continues through the track and the song showcases Romero’s amazing vocal abilities. As the journey continues, a couple more tracks that stand out to me are “The Darkest Hour” and “Enter Your Dream.” The album ends with another one of my favorite tracks called “Welcome to My Show.” This track opens with wild and heavy guitar, and the vocals are top-notch on this track.
After listening to the journey of the Ferrymen, I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed this album. It is a solid album from start to finish. Romero’s vocals combined with Karlsson’s guitar make for an amazing rock album. I said this before and I will repeat it once more, this album will be in my top five albums of the year. I can only hope that the Ferrymen follow this album up with a tour and one that comes to North America. Until that time, I will enjoy the album and so should you. It won’t disappoint. The Ferrymen will be released on June 2 via Frontier Music.