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10 Rogue: Serpentine (2017)

Multinational band 10 ROGUE are based out of Johannesburg in South Africa, and have been a going concern since 2014. “Serpentine” is their debut album, and is scheduled for it’s official international release through The BUT! Music Group in September 2017.

10 Rogue is one of many bands that explore music that exist somewhere on the border between hard rock and heavy metal, crossing back and forth across the boundary line as they see fit themselves. As far as such bands are concerned, they are also one of those bands that will have the tag modern or contemporary applied to them by many, as their specific take on this style of music isn’t one that comes with direct and easy to grasp references to era specific sounds or household names in music. Which makes the genre descriptions alternative rock and possibly alternative metal ones easy to fall back upon.

What we have here is a band that deliver some fairly straight forward and uncomplicated tunes. Those fond of of complicated structures and an array of subtle details flavoring the arrangements won’t encounter too much of this here. But compelling and pleasant songs, and fairly often with a strong radio-friendly feel to them at that, are served up one after the other. At times with a gentler expression closer to AOR style hard rock, at other times with a darker and wilder expression adding a bit of grit and arguably even sleaze to the proceedings. Subtle echoes of grunge appear here and there, and of course there’s room for compositions with more of a ballad-oriented mode as well as those that alternate quite nicely between a sparse or gentle expression and one with a harder, firmer and more vibrant edge to it. Singalong style chorus sections is another detail the band has a good grasp of, which kind of comes with the territory for a band I’d categorize as radio-friendly.

One might argue whether the band should be described as a hard rock or a metal band primarily, but at this stage of their career I’d say they fit into both of these categories. And as such this pretty much defines the target audience of this album as well I guess: If you are fond of bands that hover on the borderline between hard rock and metal, that have a good ear for radio-friendly tunes and catchy chorus sections, then this debut album by 10 Rogue is one you probably should get more familiar with.

 

My rating: 7/10

Track list:
Erased, Amphetamine, Dark Angel Princess, Disappear You, Get Myself Free, I Am The Light, Know Better, Unscathed, Love Hate, You’re Killing Me, Some Day, Dysfunctional, When Ya Down

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