Album Reviews
Band: Ten

Title: Isla De Muertra

Label: Rocktopia Records


'Isla De Muertra' is the latest album from Gary Hughes’s Ten, I say Gary Hughes’s Ten because as the main songwriter in this seven piece, this is Hughes at his more avant-garde, as he delves into the subject matter of the Pirates and the Seven Sea's for inspiration for this new release.

To be honest this is an album that took me a while to get into, with Ten it's always hard to pigeon hole then into the Melodic Rock genre, as they have always expanded the Melodic Rock envelope and with 'Isla De Muertra', he has pushed it even further.

The album takes up where their previous album 'Albion' left off and for me the problems lies there, as 'Albion' was an album I just couldn’t get into at all.

So this album has taken many listens and finally it has caught me in the right frame of mind to give it my honest opinion, for me Ten reached the dizzy heights with the 'Name of the Rose' and have seemed to trying to live up to that album ever since.

There are no doubting Hughes songwriting abilities, but there have been some dodgy moments along the way and 'Isla De Muertra' has its moments.

The album opens up with the two-parter, first part being then instrumental ‘Buccaneers’, before going into the lyrical ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’, so the Pirate feel unfolds and the full on Ten treatment begins as Hughes's unmistakable vocals, along with the trio of guitarists Dann Rosingana, Steve Grocott and John Halliwell, bringing that bootyful melodic sound that time after time has become part of the Ten sound.

The album continues with ‘Tell Me What To Do’, a more traditional slice of melodic rock with the guitars and keyboard in perfect harmony, and one will please their die hard fans.  That is before the album takes a symphonic sideways step with ‘Acquiesce’, which to be honest is probably one of my favourite tracks from the album, simply because of that epic symphonic styling.

Next it’s the obligatory Hughes ballad ‘This Love’, before the tempo is picked up big style with the powerful ‘The Dragon And Saint George’ and is kept going with the aptly entitled ‘Intensify’.  Again this one has that epic Ten feel about it, so if you're a fan of that, then you're going to love this.

Another two-parter is next starting with the instrumental intro ‘Karnak’, which leads into 'The Valley Of The Kings’.  This one is for all the fans of the 'Name of the Rose' album, it has that classic Ten feel about it.

Things continue with ‘Revolution’, a darker vibe that has an air of Queensryche about it and to be honest they do this fast-paced, Hard Rock better.  The up-tempo rockers continue with 'Angel of Darkness’, again Hard Rock is not what I expect from a Ten album, I expect the epic tales of times gone by, tales of dragons and kings.

We're back to what we expect from Ten with 'The Last Pretender’, before things come to a close with ‘We Can Be As One’.  Another big Hughes balled to end an album that was initially hard work to get into, but finally it is growing on me.  I’m sure fans of the band will fall in love with it straight away, as Hughes can seem to do no wrong in their eyes, but for a grower, that may not develop into a full blown Oak. 

Review by: Barry McMinn



1. Buccaneers (Instrumental) (i)
    Dead Men Tell No Tales (ii) 
2. Tell Me What To Do 
3. Acquiesce 
4. This Love 
5. The Dragon And Saint George 
6. Intensify 
7. Karnak (Instrumental) (i)
   The Valley Of The Kings (ii)
8. Revolution 
9. Angel Of Darkness 
10. The Last Pretender 
11. We Can Be As One (European bonus) 


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