The Ferrymen: The Ferrymen (Frontiers Records)
As we've mentioned before Frontiers Records have their stock in trade with melodic metal supergroups usually featuring in house performers and members of other bands signed to the label and not, collaborating together. The Ferrymen is the most recent record from the label that does this, formed by Magnus Karlsson, who is long term session man for Frontiers having contributing to the such projects as Allen/Lande, Starbreaker and Kiske/Sommerville along with his dayjob of axe-wielding for Primal Fear and his band Freefall. (He also frequently collaborates with Mat Sinner on many of his multiple projects). This project also features drummer Mike Terrana who smashes the skins in Rage and with Karlsson taking up nearly everything else all that is needed is vocalist and my my what a vocalist they have, Frontiers Records signee Lords Of The Black's Ronnie Romero is the man behind the mic.
It's an inspired choice as Karlsson's work on the Allen/Lande project shows he can write very well for strong gruffer voices and here he reinforces that with the songwriting not to dissimilar to those found on the Jorn albums and indeed the latter Dio records. Romero has been compared to Dio so many time that repeating it would be lazy, there is a reason why he is the now the singer of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, in his own band he deals with straight up classic/heavy metal but here there are more melodic touches that liken the sound to the post Sacred Heart albums and it means Romero is allowed more versatility. check out the song The Ferrymen which is a stomping rocking track with a huge chorus, Romero really lets rip on Fool You All which is very Dio.
The structures and songwriting of Karlsson are top notch, his playing is immense with lush orchestrations and ripping solos throughout. Some of these collaborations can be a bit hit and miss but this is brilliant melodic metal album, if you love Dio, Jorn, Eden's Curse etc pick it up. 9/10
Dream Evil: Six (Century Media) [Review By Paul]
Unsurprisingly Six is the sixth full release from Gothenburg's Dream Evil, a band well respected in the power metal movement. The band's current line up comprises founding members Fredrick Nordstrom on rhythm guitar, Nicklas Isfeldt on vocals and bass player Peter Stalfors along with long term drummer Pat Power and returning lead guitarist Markus Friestedt. It is the long anticipated follow up to 2010's In The Night and it does exactly what you want a Swedish power metal outfit to do. Cheesy fantasy lyrics, racing speeds, galloping bass lines and pounding drums all combined with some slashing guitar work.
Classic power metal always follows the early blueprint laid down by bands like Helloween, Primal Fear and Hammerfall, and Dream Evil certainly do that. Antidote thunders along at 100mph, whilst Too Loud is an absolute battery with slicing riffs. Isfeldt's vocals hit the spot perfectly, his higher range blending well. It's predictable, unoriginal, cheesy and thoroughly enjoyable if you like power metal. If you don't, you'll hate this. I can't see this album raising the band's UK profile but it's a perfectly solid release. 7/10
Nitrogods: Roadkill BBQ (SPV/Steamhammer)
Oimel, Henry and Klaus are the Nitrogods and from their album covers to their high voltage speed/punk/metal the band have all the trappings of Lemmy and Co at their dirtiest. The bluesy boogie is merged with snarling riffs for an album of 14(!) songs. The Nitrogods are a three piece (obviously) from Germany formed by guitarist Henry Wolter and drummer Klaus Sperling after both left Primal Fear they were joined by Oimel Larcher who takes the vocal/bass role an it's his rasp and amp bursting basslines that remind you of the Lemmy. Opening with Rancid Rock he drawls over the sleazy riff, they change tact on the boogielicious title track which takes cues from ZZ Top.
Now the quality of this record does vary, My Love's A Wire Brush is terrible like The Nuge at his worst and I Hate is bog standard punk. However when they are in the the Motorhead groove on Boogeyman, the blasting Bad Place Wrong Time, drum heavy Wheelin' and A Los Muertos they are at their best. The varying quality is probably due to the number of tracks on this record it's 14 songs long and many of them a hard to differentiate between due to Oimel's limited vocal croak and the punky blues of Henry. With a bit more quality control Roadkill BBQ as it could have garnered a bigger score as it stands it's perfectly perfunctory, they are Nitrogods and they play rock n roll and they remind you of better days and they acknowledge this on Where Have The Years Gone? 7/10