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CD REVIEW: TEN – Gothica

| 5 September 2017 | Reply

Label: Frontiers Music srl

Release Date: July 7, 2017

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

According to the album press release: This highly anticipated new TEN album promises to be one of their strongest collections of songs to date. Full of all the trademark textures and flavours we have come to expect from TEN, arguably one of the best and most consistent Melodic Hard Rock Bands in the genre. Gothica is an album that renews TEN’s longstanding association with Frontiers and proudly displays all the hallmarks of classic TEN and is sure to continue to build upon the rich legacy that the Great British rockers have forged in a career spanning 22 years and counting.  “The Grail” kicks this disc off and it does so with style – the guitars blend perfectly in the mix and swirl nicely against the lead vocals and the solid rhythm section that carries the load underneath the other instruments.  “Jekyll And Hyde” is another solid track that gives us plenty of solid guitars and melodic vocals that come together in a perfect storm.  The cadence of the song keeps the rhythm from the previous track moving and helps keep the songs cohesive.  “A Man For All Seasons” is another song that seems to unravel at a snail’s pace, but the beautiful opening takes us on a musical journey that blends the guitars and keyboards, while allowing the bass and drums to lead the way without overpowering the track with a heavy bottom end.  “The Wild King Of Winter” starts off with an intriguing guitar and keyboard duet that soon shifts gears into a great melodic rock track featuring lots of chugging guitars and layered vocals that fill the sound at the chorus.  “Welcome to The Freak Show” is another song that has a slightly different feel and groove as it opens, but once the chorus is hitting full speed, it is evident, these guys have many layers and textures in their writing and playing, as this song fits within the template of the disc, but is musically more diverse than any song here.

“Travellers” is a different track musically, as it unfolds much slower than most songs on the disc, but the vocals and keyboards that duet on the opening minute or so give us a nice insight to the core sound of the band when the guitars, drums, and bass are stripped away… and it’s a good thing.  The chorus is catchy and gets the foot tapping.  “In My Dreams” comes straight at you from the first note to the last, blasting you with riffs and killer leads, as well as one of the best vocals on the disc – if this song doesn’t grab you, nothing on this collection will, as this is a very anthemic track that demonstrates what these guys do best.  “Paragon” has a cool keyboard intro that draws you in and lets us enjoy a vocal line that runs through different ranges, especially lower register, which we haven’t heard on this disc yet.  The vocals are some of the most emotional of the collection and accentuates the musical accompaniment of the rhythm section and guitars.  “La Luna DraCuLa” is one of my favorite tracks on the disc, thanks to a killer intro featuring lots of guitars that morphs into a song that has a prog feel to it without losing sight of the bands core sound.  The vocals a straightforward and the lyrics are contagious.  The rest of the band – especially the drums – keep this song moving along, like a powerful locomotive steaming down the metal tracks.  Disc closer “Into Darkness” is a perfect bookend for this disc, as it brings together the different sounds and tempos from rest of the collection and weaves them together.  The tempo and emotion of the track ebbs and flows, creating a sound and vibe on the chorus that should get hands swaying and lighters in the air in a live setting.  This disc is another exciting and killer feather in Ten’s musical plume.

Tracklisting: The Grail – Jekyll And Hyde – Travellers – A Man For All Seasons – In My Dreams – The Wild King Of Winter – Paragon – Welcome to The Freak Show – La Luna DraCuLa – Into Darkness

Band: Gary Hughes (Vocals, Backing Vocals, Guitar, Bass and Programming) – Dann Rosingana (Guitar) – Steve Grocott (Guitar) – John Halliwell (Guitar) – Steve McKenna (Bass) – Darrel Treece-Birch (Keyboards) – Max Yates (Drums and Percussion)






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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