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Ten: Heresy And Creed (2012)

Written by: Kev Rowland

Back in the Nineties, one of the bands that were a real find for me were Ten, with their distinctive singer Gary Hughes. Alongside guitarist Vinny Burns they crafted one wonderful bombastic hard rock album after another, with Gary taking time out to record two wonderful solo albums (‘The Once and Future King’). But, for one reason or another I lost touch with the band and what they were doing. Fast forward a few years and one night when I was noodling around the web I came across an album by Darrel Treece-Birch, which I really enjoyed, and a review later we were in touch with each other.

This led me to discovering that Darrel was also keyboard player for Ten, having joined them in time for this 2012 album, so of course it only seemed right and proper to give it a listen and see what I thought. Having checked the personnel I could see that there had been quite a few changes, which isn’t surprising given the time which had elapsed, but as soon as I put it on I was immediately taken back in time, as Ten are still performing to the same incredibly high levels they always have. There is a strong foundation from the bass and drums which allows the twin guitars of Dan Mitchell and John Halliwell to pitch against, while Darrel either sits quietly in the background, providing the lead, or nuances as the music demands, and then there is Gary. Right from the very first time I heard his voice, some 20 plus years ago, I knew that here was a star, and he still is. For some reason he always makes me think of David Coverdale, even though vocally he doesn’t have a great deal in common, it is more the depth and breadth of his vocals. He can go up the octave when the time is right, but his vocals rely more on emotion and solidity.

Combine that with strong material and one couldn’t wish for much more – the production is superb, the artwork is great, with the only real thing wrong being that this is the sort of material that should have come out in the Seventies when polished rock like this would have rewarded the band with a retirement fund. As it is, released some 16 years after the debut, Ten are showing no sign whatsoever of slowing down. And is there any other group that does a power ballad quite like them? Piano, poignant guitars, multi-tracked vocals, great stuff.

Rating: 8/10

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Track list:
1. The Gates of Jerusalem
2. Arabian Knights
3. Gunrunning
4. The Lights Go Down
5. Raven’s Eye
6. Right Now
7. Game of Hearts
8. The Last Time
9. The Priestess
10. Insatiable
11. Another Rainy Day
12. Unbelievable
13. The Riddle

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Links:
https://www.tenofficial.com/
http://www.frontiers.it/

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