February 20, 2022

What initially began as a project as The Ferrymen, featuring the incredible talents of vocalist Ronnie Romero, guitarist Magnus Karlsson and Mike Terrana on drums, has developed into something so much more and is now a truly inspiration hard, melodic rock band that truly deserves a place at the top table of the heavy metal greats. The bands self-titled debut in 2017 truly made people sit up and take notice of their cataclysmic hard rock album that drew so much influence from Rainbow, Deep Purple and Ronnie James Dio but was still so much very more than a glorified tribute album and was a real marker in the sand that this was not a band that was going through the motions.

Simply consider the quite wonderful line-up with Ronnie Romero (Lords Of Black, Rainbow and now Sunstorm) being the wonder kid and a readymade replacement for Dio and wowing everyone who heard him including the man in black himself. Then add the guitars of Swedish guitarist/songwriter/producer Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear, Allen/Lande, Free Fall) and the mercurial drums of Mike Terrana (Rage, Axel Rudi Pell) and you know that something special is happening. The debut album was a game changer and then the band followed it up with the imperious A New Evil in 2019 which took the debut and magnified it by a factor of ten to produce a truly thrilling metal album of pure delight.

Everyone knows just how skilful Karlsson is on guitar and his playing here is an absolute delight as he lays down some great riffs and soaring solos that remind so much of Axel Rudi Pell and Uli Jon Roth and that is very heady company to be in, what a star this man is! He also plays bass and keyboards too and he handles these instruments with aplomb and perfect dexterity. When it comes to drums then you need to look into the drummer’s handbook of superlatives to find words to describe just how good Mike Terrana is and he drives everything forward with a real ferocity that is backed up by a quite extraordinary level of skill. What we have here is a perfect example of three musicians in total harmony and revelling in each other’s attributes and what they all collectively bring to band.

Magnus Karlsson has written all of the songs and he again shows his mastery of the written word and his compositional talents are simply wonderful. He produces too with DGM’s Simone Mularoni mixing and mastering and they too have combined perfectly to give the album the perfect depth and sound. Two of my go to albums are Rainbow’s Rising and Sabbath’s Heaven And Hell which both are as close to perfection as you can get especially when it comes to guitar and vocals and it is incredible to think that these two masterworks date back to 1976 and 1980 respectively. Both these albums were truly ground breaking and they have influenced so many musicians over the years and really are template for hard rock/heavy metal and I can honestly state that The Ferrymen have picked up the baton from these two heavyweights and they the talents to run with it for many years to come. Romero has a truly inspiration and amazing voice and any project he lends his talents to will see the profile raised exponentially but in The Ferrymen he is but one third of a trio of geniuses and they play off each other so that there is a level of synchronicity that elevates One More River To Cross to legendary status.

The eleven tracks are all in the 4 to 6-minute range and all are perfectly formed gems that sparkle with the dazzling beauty of diamonds and each song has the feel of a mini epic as the band touches on symphonic metal to give every song that extra special level of grandiosity. They even go a little Judas Priest on the epic ballad Morning Star, sheer genius. This is an album to beg, steal or borrow but however you acquire it just remember to play it as loud and as often as you can but also remember that without Richie Blackmore or Ronnie James Dio then this and many, many other amazing albums simply would not be.

One More River To Cross

  1. One Word (4:58)
  2. The Last Wave (4:47)
  3. Shut It Out (5:25)
  4. City Of Hate (5:07)
  5. One More River To Cross (6:17)
  6. Morning Star (6:39)
  7. Hunt Me To The End Of The World (4:54)
  8. Bringers Of The Dark (5:33), The Other Side (4:21), The Last Ship (4:08), The Passenger (4:16)