The perceptive amongst you will remember that earlier this year I had the pleasure to review a three band package tour headlined by Ten (http://www.rock-zone.co.uk/2012/06/02/ten-serpentine-white-widdow-the-railway-28th-may-2012/) and one of the surprises to me was that, despite their heritage and pedigree, Ten had never registered on my musical radar.
The songs on their latest release (on Frontiers) continue with the Ten tradition – epic songs of a grand proportion. The songs have an almost cinematic quality (I can imagine these accompanying a blockbuster movie) that tell stories. Surrounding the songs and Gary Hughes’ magnificent vocal performance is the music. Guitars and keyboards aplenty but never to the point where the pomp over-powers the purpose.
On occasion my ears picked up hints of influence (“Ravens Eye” brought “Scarboro Fair” to mind immediately) but then there are only seven musical notes (if you exclude sharps and flats) so if we’re honest, many songs we like will be liked just because they remind us of other songs we like. My pre-conception was that Ten may have been a little “Dungeons and Dragons” – how wrong could I have been? Very was the answer – sure Gary tells stories with his songs but it is the music that hits you first and the lyrics fit sublimely and never veer towards what could have been a little bit of self parody.
Ten are now firmly on my radar – and I look forward to seeing them perform the songs from “Heresy and Creed” live soon. My first listen generated my first one word review (“INCREDIBLE”) and the more I have listened to the tracks on offer here, the more incredible they become!
“Heresy and Creed” is available now on Frontiers Records