THE FERRYMEN – A New Evil [Japan Edition +1] (2019)
THE FERRYMEN released their self-titled debut album two years ago taking the fans of classic European Melodic Metal sound by surprise. Now the band returns with the follow-up, “A New Evil”, and be prepared for an even more massive collection of powerful songs.
With songwriting handled by ace Swedish guitarist Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear, Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall), awesome vocals by terrific shouter Ronnie Romero (Rainbow, CoreLeoni), and drummer Mike Terrana (Axel Rudi Pell, Yngwie) bringing the thunder, there is no stopping this killer trio.
In every respect, this project’s sophomore outing “A New Evil” stands as a more amped up version of its predecessor. The same amalgamation of Magnus’ melodic power, heavy and progressive metal influences that touched his songwriting from the early days of Midnight Sun up to his various vocalist conglomerations and shred fest albums under the Free Fall moniker are present here, alongside his 10 year affiliation with Primal Fear.
And yes, current Rainbow singer Ronnie Romero is clearly influenced by the late Ronnie James Dio but his powerful and hoarse voice is more than pleasant and well suited to this type of edgy hard rock. And do not forget Mike Terrana, who behind his drums kill your senses.
“A New Evil” is a buch perfectly crafted classy melodic metal / hard rock, powerful but melodic, with the keyboards of Karlsson softening his guitars. Opener “Don’t Stand In My Way” is the perfect example of what The Ferrymen music can produce. The Rainbow of the Dio era is more than present, even in the guitar game of prodigy Magnus Karlsson.
Indeed, in much the same fashion as Dio’s iconic offerings from the mid-1980s, this is an album that truly shines when the tempo is brought back to more of a rocking groove, while the melodic hooks and vocal work takes center stage.
This is perhaps best encapsulated on songs such as “Bring Me Home”, which definitely has a bit of a “Holy Diver” character to it at times between the slow thud of the drum work that sees Terrana channeling Vinnie Appice flawlessly and the more Vivian Campbell inspired crunch of the guitars, though true to form Karlsson keeps it from throwback territory by loading things to the brim with bombastic keyboards and a Helloween-inspired lead guitar theme.
Shorter rockers like “The Night People Rise” and “Heartbeat”, in additional to featuring titles similar to Dio offerings of 3 decades past, also carry some fairly musical parallels to the “Sacred Heart” and “Dream Evil” albums at times.
All the same, each of these songs still exudes that modern sound as only Karlsson can deliver, and occasionally things leave the 80s style behind for full on symphonic power territory, such as the infectious ode “My Dearest Fear”.
It’s a foregone conclusion that any fan of Karlsson’s other associated projects will take to this, as he has a very clearly defined style of songwriting and production. However, in my opinion The Ferrymen might be Magnus’ finest hour, the band that really shows his musical passion and where he can expose the continual technical evolution as songwriter and multi-instrumentalist since the mid-2000s.
“A New Evil” brings back the glory days of Dio’s melodic metal / hard rock with an updated sound, all done with class. Many have no doubt been speculating since the demise of Metal’s beloved King as to where he would have gone musically since the dawn of the now closing decade, and while one wouldn’t be far off in pointing to the recent Dream Child album that Craig Goldie put forth last year as the likely answer, you must add “A New Evil” to the list for sure.
01. Don’t Stand In My Way
02. Bring Me Home
03. A New Evil
04. The Night People Rise
05. Save Your Prayers
07. Our Own Heroes
08. No Matter How Hard We Fall
09. My Dearest Fear
10. You Against The World
11. All We Got
JAPAN BONUS TRACK:
12. Bring Me Home (Acoustic)
Ronnie Romero – Vocals
Magnus Karlsson – Guitars, Bass & Keyboards
Mike Terrana – Drums