Tuesday 22 August 2017

Album Review: TEN - Gothica

Ten - Gothica

1. The Grail
2. Jekyll And Hyde
3. Travellers
4. Man For All Seasons
5. In My Dreams
6. The Wild King Of Winter
7. Paragon
8. Welcome To The Freak Show
9. La Luna Dra-cu-la
10. Into Darkness

Ten. Now there's a blast from the past. I bought their second album, The Name Of The Rose, way back in 1996, after hearing the epic title track. I think I was going through an AOR phase at the time, and worshipped at the temple of Magnum, Whitesnake and Dream Theater. Ten were getting a bit of attention from the mainstream Rock/Metal press at the time, but since then seemed to have disappeared off the face of the Earth, I hadn't heard anything from them in over twenty years, until I saw an advert for this new album, Gothica. I've done a little bit of digging, and this new record is their thirteenth studio album. How did that happen? How did I not know they were still going?

Lead singer and song writer Gary Hughes is still in fine voice, and the musicianship throughout Gothica remains at the exceptional standard it was at when I first heard Ten. The lyrical content is mostly based on classic and contemporary fiction, including songs written about Jekyll and Hyde, Dracula, and H.G. Wells' The Time Machine (Travellers). There's also the epic The Wild King Of Winter, which was inspired by the A Song Of Ice And Fire series of novels (adapted for television as the insanely popular Game Of Thrones). The music, as expected, is just as epic and multi-layered as the source material it's inspired by.

Ten is still a great AOR band. What they do is an acquired taste, but if Melodic Rock is your thing, I think Gothica is something you shouldn't ignore. It's been a pleasure getting reacquainted with Ten, and I'll enjoy checking out all their other records that, until recently, I didn't even know existed.


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