Title: GothicaLabel: Frontiers Music Srl
is the thirteenth release from the Gary Hughes fronted band
Ten. A band that over the years have seen some ebbs
and flows it's career, from not only a line-up band front
and critics, but also on the fan front.
fans being some of the most critical over the years, with
their fans seemingly demanding such high quality releases
with set formulas and sounds.
Gary Hughes has always defended each album and to be honest
it's his band to do with what he wills.
the band have been in high over recent years, with three
albums off the belt receiving critical and fan
acclaim. Now in 2017, the band return to Frontiers
Music for this latest chapter in the Ten story 'Gothica'.
be honest I think this has be the bands best album to date,
as Hughes is joined once again by guitar players Dann
Rosingana, Steve Grocott and John Halliwell. Along
with bass player Steve McKenna, keyboard Maestro Darrel
Treece-Birch and drummer Max Yates.
the third album with this line-up makes for a more secure
foundation and this is reflected in the album, from the
opener ‘The Grail’, where we are taken back to the
splendour of the band's early albums, as they once again
bring that almost Cinematic Rock element back to forefront.
album continues its dark path with the wonderful ‘Jekyll
and Hyde’. A mid-tempo rocker that grips you from
the opening cords and the mix of three guitars doesn’t
flood the sound, as the trinity of six strings just adds to
over splendour of the track.
is up next, as the clock chimes fade the opening keyboard
flurry set up the track wonderfully well, as Hughes
unleashes one of those trademark soulful vocals that has
never faded. His vocals never seem to be forced, he
just has that soulful edge that was made for this genre of
back to the epics with ‘A Man for All Seasons'. This
one starts off with an almost folkish refrain but gently and
gradually builds, then a huge bass line and flurry of
guitars explodes as this one takes on a whole new
life. The tale depicting
the final years of Sir Thomas More,
the 16th-century Lord Chancellor of
England, who refused to sign a letter asking Pope
Clement VII to
annul King Henry VIII of England's
marriage to Catherine of Aragon and
refused to take an Oath of Supremacy, declaring
Henry VIII Supreme Head of the Church of England.
my history lessons at school were put into song, then maybe
would have taken more attention.
My Dreams’ returns to the more traditional melodic rock as
we take a somewhat biographical look at Hughes early life as
young man immersed in a world of fantasy. The geek in
us all can relate to this one, as today’s trend in fantasy
shows the geek in us all will have his day.
back to another Hughes fantasy history lesson with ‘The
Wild King of Winter’. A superb track that has
trademark Ten with the darker edges that dominates the
album. It's back to the harmony filled splendour with
‘Paragon’, before things return to the dark side with
the excellent macabre world of ‘Welcome to the Freakshow’,
a song that just rocks it up big style.
dark rocking continues with band taking on Bram Stokers
fable with the excellent ‘La Luna Dra-Cu-La’, before the
album closes in style with ‘Into The Darkness’, an apt
closer as this depicts the tales of failing movie Starlets,
something that this Cinematic epic release will never do.
'Gothica' for me is the best Ten album in years. Since their reformation and the three strong albums prior, 'Gothica' shows Hughes and Ten are back and back big style.
Review by: Barry McMinn
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