Artist: Ten  
   Title: Far Beyojd The World
   Label: Frontiers Records

This is the latest offering by a band who seem to have been around for an eon even though in truth they haven't been around all that many years. They've just come a very long way in a very short space of time due to hard work and total dedication.

Is there no end to the amount of songs Gary Hughes seems able to churn out? Perhaps churn is the wrong word to use here because it infers the songs are not of a high standard. One thing no one could ever deny is that every single song that Gary Hughes has written for either Ten or anyone else, has always been top notch stuff. While even the greatest of songwriters at times struggles to find the inspiration for the songs they pen, this is something that Gary Hughes appears to not suffer from.

This album is bound to be a big hit with all the Ten fans out there as it goes back to the roots of what Ten is all about. Good hard melodic rock with musicians that are so well versed in how things are to sound they produce yet another top quality album which is jammed packed with powerful songs that are able to stand strong on their own. The whole album is simply bursting with energy and vibrancy. No doubt it will receive a great many rave reviews from around the globe and most likely more than one award of some description, and rightly so. A lot of hard work and determination has gone into this album and it has once more paid off.

Whether you're a die-hard fan of Ten or not, there's no denying this album is extremely easy to listen to. The songs are well constructed and the band have gone to great pains to make sure that the pace isn't rushed and every word is savoured fully before devoured whole. 'What about Me' is a typical example of this. Where most bands would rush the moment and get the lines out as soon as they could, Mr. Hughes & Co. prefer the vintage whiskey approach. Take a few smooth lines and let them role around your senses. Have you got that warm, contented feeling yet? After listening to this track you soon will.

One thing I do find worrying about this album is that at times it's hard to remember who exactly it is I'm listening to. Ten? Bob Catley? Ten? The two have sadly become a blur and have lost their individuality. I know this is going to ruffle a few feathers me pointing this out but it really has become a bit obvious that by having the same person write the songs for both bands, and indeed more than one musician performing on the studio albums for both bands, the differences between the two are not as clearly defined as they should be.

Before all you Ten fans burn me at the stake for saying these things, listen to 'Outlawed and Notorious' and then tell me I'm wrong. Even before this track off the album I was getting the feeling of deja-vu from this album. My feet are firmly in the Bob Catley camp because in my eyes he is the original. He was and probably always will be the master of this type of melodic pomp rock. The songs about splendour and glory are what Bob's been doing since Adam was a lad.

Now don't get me wrong here, I think Gary Hughes is an extremely talented writer and singer but quite whether the similarities are purely by accident, or whether he has some devious plans to try and take over where Bob Catley and Magnum left off I'm not entirely sure.

Guys the album sounds great. The songs are a brilliant example of what you do, and that you do it all so very well. I have to admit to loving your song 'Last of the Lovers' to bits. This is the sort of song I really enjoy hearing. 'Who do you want to Love' is another little sweetheart you've included in this rich collection.

You're going to sell bucket loads of copies of this album and everyone's going to turn up in droves to your tours. But if you're not careful you're all going to have to wear t-shirts with the bands name on so people remember which band it is they are listening to. OK, so that might be a bit brutal, but in my humble opinion it's true and it had to be said.

Shortly after this album was released Vinnie Burns decided to part company with the band and go off and do something else. Quite what the full reasons behind his leaving were we'll probably never be party to. Who knows how he felt about the way the band was progressing and the similarities between these two legendary bands. Let's hope whatever path destiny has carved out for him he stays around for a good many years. Not only is he an extremely a talented guitarist in his own right, but he is also a much loved one too. We wish him every success in his future projects.

Tracklisting:

   1. Glimmer of Evil
   2. Strange Land
   3. High Tide
   4. What about Me?
   5. Last of the Lovers
   6. Outlawed and Notorious
   7. Scarlet and the Grey
   8. Heart like a Lion
   9. Dark Shadows
 10. Who do you want to Love?
 11. Far beyond the World
                   

 

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