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TEN / SPELLBOUND
NOW & THEN / FRONTIERS: FR CD014
OVERALL: 94%
Produced by: Rafe McKenna
  1. March Of The Argonauts
  2. Fear The Force
  3. Inside The Pyramid Of Light
  4. Spellbound
  5. We Rule The Night
  6. Rememberance For The Brave
  7. Red
  8. The Alchemist
  9. Wonderland
  10. Eclipse
  11. The Phantom
  12. Till The End Of Time
I like Ten, but there has always been just something that prevented me from loving them.
The debut was a great slice of hard melodic AOR. The two album's that proceeded that one headed in a more traditional British heavy rock vein. I never really took to them as much.
But a few things had me swinging back in favour of the band.
First up, they released the Never Say Goodbye double live album. Get to the end of that album - over two hours of great melodic rock and you can't help but be impressed. Then there was Gary Hughes' new solo record Precious Ones. For the first time I could hear raw emotion in Gary's voice. I had previously found it a little one same-ish.
Then there was the awesome Bob Catley record. Gary's writing is improving all the time and the songs on this album are first rate.
And now it is on with the show - here is Ten's new studio album. It comes after the biggest gap to date between the bands' studio releases - about 18 months.
I was looking forward to it, but pretty much had in mind what to expect.
Far from it.
This record is simply sensational.
I can say this with all the enthusiasm in the world, as I wasn't a real true fan before. I am now.
This record should both surprise and amaze old fans and new.
It should also intimidate any other bands that thought they might have been closing in on the best rock band in Britain crown. The bar has been lifted and no-one is nearly within range of this great disc.
Without going on to much, there is not one area that has not been improved upon by a mile.
Gary's vocals have come to life in a way I have never heard from him. They are powerful, they are loud, they are raw and they are passionate - both with the ballads and the rockers.
They were recorded live and no filters or effects were added. This was a particular habit of Mike Stone. As Mark Ashton said to me - who ever would have thought the sound problem was connected with him?!
The production is monstrous. Hats off to Now & Then Productions for the sound and the mix. Crisp, in your face and big, big, big.
The drums are bigger than ever. Mark also told me they hired a huge kit for Greg and that inspired him to hit them even harder! It shows!
And let's not forget guitarist Vinny Burns who on this record simply shreds.
I haven't even heard this many solo's and riff's on any Yngwie Malmsteen record.
The guitars are everywhere on this record and they are both raw and multi-layered and the songs offer plenty of melodic hooks and solo's.
The album kicks off with the usual big build up and monster instrumental intro that Gary is becoming quite the master of.
This one offers the best intro of any album in the last few years with a mix of drums, guitars and strings. Epic indeed...and only 2 minutes long!
Fear The Force then cuts in a little mysteriously at first then with a collective implosion of keys, drums, guitars and of course Gary's vocals.
You know straight away that the band have lifted and this song is typical Ten, just bigger.
Hard guitar riffs and a pounding rhythm without going over the top like some of these metal albums. The most noticeable thing is the rawness of Gary's vocals. Just great.
The chorus is big and melodic. Then it's back to the riffing. Love the end where the vocals get to run solo.
Inside The Pyramid Of Light is the track that really floored me and convinced me these guys are world class. It rocks so hard from the first second as the guitar chops and changes furiously and the fast rapping vocals turn a really heavy track into a melodic masterpiece. Go straight to this track - it rocks big time. (When I say rapping, I don't quite mean Ice T either!)
Spellbound continues the onslaught. A slower but heavier track that again attacks the senses. Then Gary's voice cuts in a la Led Zeppelin's Black Dog and the track reveals it self as exactly that sort of influenced track. teh chorus is more typical Ten, but it is great to hear such diversity in just the first 4 tracks. We Rule The Night slows it down for the first time. It starts with those wonderful strings again and a great raw vocal. Almost a little Celtic...more of that to come.
The track is a typical Ten/Gary Hughes ballad, just bigger and better than I have heard before. A monster finish and a really big anthem.
Remembrance For The Brave brings those Celtic influences to the forefront. This is an instrumental piece that leads into Red. Again, wonderful diversity.
Red starts with Gary singing a fast vocal over mainly acoustic guitar with a less obvious Celtic feel. The vocals get faster and the drums kick in softly in the background and then it just goes off. Fast and heavy guitar and drums and that vocal just rocks. The chorus is in there but Gary hardly takes a breath between lines. Exhausting. Guitars everywhere. The Alchemist is another uptempo hard rocker. This is more straight ahead Ten. Another cool track.
Wonderland thankfully gives us a little break with a piano / vocal ballad that sounds a little like a Gary Hughes solo track. Another big chorus and multi layered backing vocals. Gets heavier, but is still ballad melodic.
Eclipse is straight back into that sonic onslaught. Another more traditional Ten track, with more huge guitars. Some keyboards clearly evident also.
The Phantom rocks harder and faster again and even a little darker. Some organ helping the songs get it's mood.
Till The End Of Time ends the album with a big huge 'hands in the air' ballad with Gary and a piano kicking this off. Great vocals and a very good song with lots of emotion.
I normally save this much excitement for a Rick Springfield record or maybe even a Night Ranger album, but believe me Ten have recorded an album that not only out does their entire back catalogue but the back catalogue of a good deal of other bands.
If you like British hard rock, or if you are already an old fan, or if you have been sitting on the fence like myself...then this is an album that should be checked out.
Like Stuart Smith's album, buying this album will make your CD collections complete.
Very impressive stuff indeed.
PRODUCTION: 95%SONGS: 93%VIBE: 94%ATTITUDE: 96%
ESSENTIAL FOR: All heavy melodic rock & British hard rock fans and Ten lovers everywhere


22/12/09: Thomas - screamdod@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
Say it short, as one of my teachers always said:

After this long time, I still like this album.

Great songs, great melodies, what else do I need.

This is an album, everone should have :-)

03/12/05: alex - chimera692000@yahoo.com
Rating: 60
It was with great anticipation that I made my daily trek to the post office. After the first listen however, I was ready to return the disc. Although I definitely was not naive enough to expect another "Name of the Rose"-esque effort given virtually every band's natural propensity to experiment and "evolve," this attempt to forge a new sound (a la Vinny's heavier guitar coupled with the Celtic, battle-inspired lyrics and atmosphere) presents quite a quandary.

Although the artwork is unquestionably majestic, my greatest concern (not problem, mind you) is that the total package does not deliver any memorable, ground-breaking songs. While there are some interesting new developments, I do not find myself humming any of these tunes during the rest of the day. It is almost as if Ten have created a soundtrack for a movie that sadly should not be made. Perhaps if this had been my first exposure to the band, I would have rated this album higher. However, to reiterate/conclude, this cd simply did not leave me "Spellbound."

21/10/05: Ravenlord - ravenlord!@zoznam.sk
Rating: 0
Well, when I saw the cover of the album I thought they were Italians and that they play speed metal:) . But, now I found out that they are british and that they play hard rock.They remind me little bit of bands like Magnum. Absolutely great mix of HR and HM. Great job guys.

07/02/05: Ivone - samuraisword@ig.com.br
Rating: 95
This album is powerful. No comments. Despite the fact that there are epical tones on songs, it doesn`t stop the quality of the album. there always are people who criticize. Either these ones don`t understanding the songlyrics and the style of music or they don`t really like this kind of genre (and they didn`t discovered it) or they really like to criticize.

06/05/02: Don Giovanni - giovanni@blackmagic.com
Rating: 90
Definately the best TEN album to date and the production is light years ahead of their previous releases. The only bad side is the 'borrowed' material. Spellbound IS Still of the night with a slightly different chorus.

24/11/00: BLT - brianlthomas@yahoo.com
Rating: 30
This is my first TEN album. It was not as bad as I feared but not as good as I hoped. Great guitar work, but I felt the songs were uninspired. I thought it could use more vocal depth, better songwriting, more keyboards, and less borrowed material (see reviews below...Eclipse it Malmsteen's Crystal Ball, with same melody and vocal inflection!). "Red" is the best song on the album.

17/07/00: WILJAN VRIENS - W.VRIENDS@CHELLO.NL
Rating: 7
FIRST I WANT TO SAY THAT TEN RULES.
They are one of my favorite melodic rockAor band.
Everybody has something else to say about the album or Ten
other opinions ,some find it bad some find it good and i'm one of the people who like spellbound.
It's not my favorite album that's 'Name of the rose' Spellbound is sometimes a little to... but it doesn't mean their bad not at all!!
My top 5 is:
1.We rule the night - it's such a good song not like the usual ones you hear from other aor albums, it makes me feel good in bad times and love the chorus.
2.red - this one makes me feel like singing and at last i can bring it the same way as gary sings it haha
3.till the end of time - good ballade but i like the version on the bonus collection better, he brings it with so much emotion that i think it really happened to him
4.fear the force - this one rocks play it loud and i'm going crazy
5.the other ones - can't say wich one the 5th

this is my opinion - a ten singing fan

23/02/00: Matute Devit - matutedevit@hotmail.com
Rating: 6
Well,let me begin telling you that i'm a big Ten fan from Argentina (South America).
I think that their records are real masterpieces and some of their compositions can fit easily into a list of the greatest AOR tunes of all times. Just think on "After the love has gone","Don't cry","The torch","You're in my heart"...and the list goes...but,what happened now??
Most of the songs have a big lack of inspiration. Only "Wonderland","Till the end of time",and maybe "Fear the force" and "The phantom" can reach the category of "Great AOR songs" but the others are too leaded into a harder edge that doesn't fit into the Ten original style. Maybe you can say that this an "evolution" to their sound,but you can't talk about evolution without good songs.
But let me talk about the best song of the album:"We rule the night". This is a REAL evolution. No one did this before. Maybe Ten with this tune is setting a new category in the world of music:Epic AOR. Just imagine Foreigner on an ancient,bloody battle,and you have "We rule the night".
And here I'd like to talk about the worst side of Ten,that appears also on this record:THE STEALS.
How can a first line band steal so much??? No one on the studio tells Gary that it's too similar too well known songs?? Let me tell you what are what I think that are "influences":
In "TEN":
The first chords on "All about love" are identical to Saxon's "Crusader".
The intro to "Can't slow down" is similar to "Straight to your heart" of Bad English.
The intro to "Yesterday lies in the flames" is like "Dream on" of Aerosmith
In "THE NAME OF THE ROSE":
"Wings of the storm" IS "Rising Force" of Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force.
On "Never say good bye":
"Gimme a piece of your heart" is a mix of "Runaway","Living on a prayer",and "You give love a bad name" of Bon Jovi.
And on "SPELLBOUND":
The song "Eclipse" IS "Cristall Ball" of Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force (Ha!! It seems that gary really liked Odyssey record!)
"Spellbound" is similar to Whitesnake's "Still of the night"
And also I can mention the "inspiration" on Gary Hughes' record "Precious Ones"(wich I really like despite of this):
"Precious ones" begins just like "This time alone with you" of Bad English
"Don't ever say goodbye" reminds me too much to "Forget me not" of Bad English.

All right,that's all,and if you find more similarities you can send me a E-Mail. See ya!!

10/09/99: Luke "aussie" Calusic - CELTICCROAT@HOTMAIL.COM
Rating: 0
Ten out of Ten for this aptly titled band. Words such as majestic, grandiose, ecstatic and magnificent can only begin to describe my infatuation for this album. I've always liked Ten but found that although they are exceptional artists and their prior output has been good - their previous albums didn't quite set them apart. But this album with its gothic undertones and almost conceptual songwriting which is first rate really sets the bar for melodic hard rock. Vinny Burns solos are some of the most shredding examples of the type I have heard in eons but totally in synch with the band - ie no overplaying. And every hard rocker(and they are magnificent) is counterbalanced by some magnificent ballads. Not soppy balladry but powerful, soulful, life affirming ballads like We Rule The Night which in a more equitable and less fashionable world would be a monster hit. For sheer technical virtuosity check out the axework at the end of The Phantom - simply sublime. But this is not simply a musos record - it far transcends the aspirations of bands like Dream Theatre who shred for shredding sake. Every note is coordinated, classical sounds abound - the use of violin and keys in a number of songs is brilliant and the actual lyrics are much improved on Ten's previous albums. For those who anticipate trends and casually listen to music look elsewhere. But for you listeners out there who search for music with a higher purpose - to nourish the soul and exalt the senses THIS IS THE BAND AND THIS IS THE CD. I've bought a lot of albums this year but this is the best and I feel the one with the most vintage. Buy TEN'S SPELLBOUND. They deserve a wide audience for majestic works like this. And only mindblowing material receives the top mark from me. This fits that category effortlessl

12/07/99: Frederico Sinzato - fsinzato@projesom.com.br
Rating: 10
Very very good! Ten mixes AOR'80, hard rock and melodic metal. Great band, great songs, cool lyrics, everything is perfect. Gary Hughes have a beautiful voice. Ten is the best thing from UK since NWOBHM.

17/05/99: andyb - andy@one7245.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 6
Great intro-great first track-then it kind of meanders around between very good and very average. Songs in general not a patch as 'The Robe' even if the production is a better

Still the best British band in this genre-and it's nice to hear an album that wasn't recorded 15 years ago and kept in a darkened om

16/05/99: DEREK MEYER - DMEYER7752@AOL.COM
Rating: 10
THIS ALBUM SIMPLY ROCKS. THE LYRICS ARE SMART AND INTELLIGENT{RED} AND THE MUSIC IS CATCHY. TEN HAVE MADE BY FAR THEIR BEST STUDIO ALBUM TO DATE AND I CAN'T WAIT TILL THEIR NEXT OFFERING. THESE ARE THE QUINTESSENTIAL MUSICIANS OF MELODIC ROCK.

26/03/99: Peter Edwardson - peter.edwardson@talk21.com
Rating: 0
Good music, but the lyrics are absolute total bollocks. I really like this style of music, but the words sound as if they were written by a 13-year-old schoolboy. Have they never heard of irony or detachment?

24/02/99: Kris - mrkristian@hotmail.com
Rating: 5
I'll start by saying I'm a big, big Ten fan. I'll follow by saying that if this was the first album I'd ever heard from the band, I probably wouldn't have bought another one. So what happened to the "melodic" in Ten's melodic rock? They've strayed far from it, and I for one am quite disappointed. The strength of the previous 3 albums, particularly the first, was the strong melodies, the interesting lyrics, and Vinny's tasteful riffs, hooks & solos. Spellbound doesn't have one song that combines all of these strengths. Vinny is way too busy, shredding all over the place. He's a great player, but that's not where he shines. I admired him for hooks that I could remember, that pulled me into the songs, that played nicely against Gary's vocals. Remember After the Love Has Gone, or The Name of the Rose, or Bright On the Blade? And as much as I've heard people critique Mike Stone's production work, he certainly got a cleaner, tighter sound than this album has. It's a muddy mix, with Greg's drums buried & the bass almost non-existent. And with all due respect, Gary could stand a touch more reverb on his tracks. I hate tearing this album up like this, but this was such a step down for a band that clearly had yet to peak, I really hope that they return to their roots and remember what made them one of the best bands in Europe. We all saw what happened to Def Lep with Slang. Every band's due a weak performance now and then... let's just hope that Ten recognizest

17/02/99: Mike Boatman - boatmanmichael@hotmail.com
Rating: 10
I was a little unsure how to feel about the new album after I listened to it. My favorite album was "Name of the Rose", and I had read that Ten was changing their sound. I wasn't opposed to it since I personally think it's a great sign of progression, but I wasn't expecting celtic tones and sheer power of the tracks. I've grown to like it as much as "Name of the Rose" now, and I think they've blown "The Robe" out of the water with this one. Gary Hughes is undoubtedly one of the greatest writers in rock right now. My first is Rick Springfield, but Gary is a close second. Another great album from one of the best bands outod

03/02/99: Daniel Hayes - dhayes@essex.ac.uk
Rating: 0
The end of my review got cut off...

... Hats off to you guys - you've really outdone yourselves this time.
Go out and buy this album NOW - like me you WON'T be disappointed!

03/02/99: Daniel Hayes - dhayes@essex.ac.uk
Rating: 10
I'd like to begin by pointing out that Ten are my favourite melodic hard rock group.
However, I put on this CD expecting to be disappointed. The reviews out there are mixed. Aside from
that there was the suggestion that the huge production which I loved so much was stripped
back on this album, and that it took a much more conventional hard rock approach. Add to that my initial
misgivings about the title-track which did the rounds on magazine covers a few months before the album was released.
I should have had faith. Ten never disappoints.

MARCH OF THE ARGONAUTS opens the album. You're assaulted by thunderous kettle drums evoking images of stony-faced warriors
marching grimly to their death. It's almost funeral like. Then come in the fanfares of strings and keyboards taking us into dark fantasy land.
It's loud and moody... then suddenly there's some wonderful drum skitters by Greg Morgan and things get even LOUDER! The guitars blast in picking up the tune.
This is a classic introductory instrumental. They're never throwaway pieces for Gary Hughes - they're as developed and as important as the main songs.
Before you know it Hughes has masterfully set up a brooding dark fantasy atmosphere, the perfect backdrop for what is to come.
The noise winds down on stepping stones of drums and keyboards to a single chord which leads seamlessly to...

FEAR THE FORCE. Horn-like keyboards blare the melody interspersed by blasts of drum and guitar. Gary's voice roars the title...
then it explodes into a pounding, incessant rhythm that Vinny Burn's guitar leads. It is when Gary's vocals come in that you truly
appreciate the changes that have taken place. His voice is deeper, darker, rawer. It's less soft round the edges than we're used to - harder, deeper.
On previous albums Gary's voice sounded golden. Here his voice sounds like burnished bronze. The chorus is huge and immediately catchy. Very melodic.
Faintly reminiscent of Dreams or Scream from Bob Catley's The Tower. The production is mammoth in scale. If this song doesn't get your pulse racing then
there's something wrong with you! As the song nears it's end we're treated to Gary's vocals interspersed by blasts of guitars. Then the drum rolls and the rhythm is back
full force. The intricate guitar solo is busy and compact, a metallic shrieking. Vinny "The Viper" Burns proves once more that he is the king of his profession - the screaming
instrument is frenzied and maddening. This is TEN at their best. Melodic but very very powerful. The song is written around the fantasy cover art by Luis Royo. Gary Hughes gets
to show off his storytelling skills and we're not talking pixies and fairies! The music generates the impression that we're caught in an epic battle between good and evil -
The Dragon and the Unicorn. The violence is written in the music. In case it's not obvious this is my favourite track from the album. It's the type of track you have to play
at least three times in a row before you can even think about moving on to the next. I blew a brand new pair of headphones on the first play!

INSIDE THE PYRAMID OF LIGHT, in contrast, is my least favourite song on the album. It's brash and raucous - less AOR and more straightforward hard rock. It's heavy and brazen,
rowdy and quirky. Not as melodic and polished as the other songs. It's still very good, don't get me wrong, it's just not the type of song I personally enjoy. It's not as evocative
as the other tracks, and, let's face it, it has a hard act to follow. I'd place this in the same league as songs such as "You're My Religion" from The Name Of the Rose.
There are guitars everywhere and, along with the title track, seems the most obvious venture into new territory. They haven't really done anything similar to this. You can
hear it's Gary Hughes but it's a little more dry than we're used to. The lyrics however are great.

SPELLBOUND is another unusal sounding song for the band. It opens with a powerful scream from Gary then breaks into heavy, enclosed clashes of guitars and cymbols tied
together by Vinny's guitar which has that great "silver" celtic feel to it. The verse structure is very similar to Whitesnake's Still Of the Night, but I feel that
Gary manages to make it his own. In contrast to the jerky explosive verses the chrous is as smooth as polished glass. The juxtaposition works extremely well. The guitar work
is impressive in that Vinny manages to make it blend with John Halliwell's backing guitar yet rise out of it, honed and sharper edged, when necessary. There are
layers and layers of guitars squaking like metallic parrots, and great pre-chorus riffs. This song is a mass of explosions and fireworks and thunderous drum riffs.
You can imagine the verse with keyboards and backing vocals but you don't really miss them. This is a very brave song for Gary Hughes, demonstrating he's not
afraid to try something different. From the first "yeeaaaahhh!!!" to the final grunt that sounds like someone's knocked the wind out of him Gary is on top form.
This is a song that grows on you the more you listen to it. Ironically enough, given the title, the story seems less to do with the fantasy genre and more to do
with Gary's supernatural love affair with a "strange apparition".

WE RULE THE NIGHT is one of the highlights of the album. It's a triumphant, glorious ballad-with-balls. I jotted down a few words to describe it: victorious, majestic,
uplifting, soaring, patriotic. A classic and powerful anthem. The production, once again, is monumental in scale. The vocals are deep and bronzed. The choir-like backing vocals
are very large indeed and sounding like a chanting army. This is the type of song that would be played at the Proms if the proms were melodic rock! This is going to go down
wonderfully live - a real arm-in-arm swaying, lighters in the air song that will unite the audience. It makes you feel part of a proud group, a triumphant crowd.
Rafe McKenna, who also mixed the album, Sue Willets, and Bob Catley give their all in the rousing chorus. I thought I would have liked to have been able to pick out
Bob's voice more clearly, but that would spoil the unity of the chanting. Incredible stuff.

REMEMBRANCE FOR THE BRAVE is an instrumental track that leads into Red. As the celtic instruments come in you almost expect to hear Gary start singing
"Every night in my heart, I hear you, I see you..." - yes, thanks to Titanic celtic instruments will always remind me of Celine Dion! (thanks very much!!!)
It begins a little like the introduction to "Dreams". It's subtle and spiritual, distinctly gaelic. The sound is very rootsy and mellow thanks to dark, rich strings
and clever layering. It generates a sense of mournful hope - serene and otherworldly.

RED Suddenly picks up the pace. It's almost like an irish jig; a modern day folksong. Vinny turns his hand to the acoustic guitar and there are some terrific
tribal sounding drums by Greg Morgan. We're definitely in Braveheart territory here. Then out of nowhere the song explodes in an indulgent orgy of blazing guitars.
The repeating verses are catchy and layers are added to each subsequent chorus. It's easily followable. Immediately hummable. The lyrics are passionate - you
can imagine this song to be a rousing speech by William Wallace to inspire his clan before a battle. Vinny Burns is absolutely on fire!!! His guitar work rolls and
snarls - it's some of the best I've ever heard. He truly shines. The celtic influence is brought into the foreground in this song. Once more Gary's lyrics
are thoughtful and intelligent. It's rare to find a songwriter who is so obviously well read and able to create atmosphere. Each song has it's own imagery
and story and personality - that's no mean feat.

THE ALCHEMIST is a cheerier, uptempo rocker, more upbeat than the other tracks so far. It's also probably the most AOR of the songs on the album.
Another catchy chorus (this guy is a genius! how does he do it?!). This song is postive and upbeat, less gritty than the others. More straightforward -
a good oldfashioned rocker. There's some nice guitar riffs here and it's more clear cut, lighter in tone.
The vocals sound a little more "distant" for some reason, but are still remarkable. Gary's vocal mastery on this album is very impressive. He
shows such control and expert intonation that it would make most opera singers jealous.

WONDERLAND is another stand-out track for me. It's a warm and uplifting power-ballad. Classic and soothing it has a detectibly
sentimental edge. This isn't a wimpy ballad - the guitars are crashy and inspired forcing the smooth melody on. This is
type of song you play at the end of a tough day. It's tender and strong, rich and charming. There's some great layered keyboard
work by Ged Rylands. Gary's vocals are so perfect in their timing and intonation - simply flawless. This song is a great
advertisment for his voice. Not a cry out of place, not a note out of synch. It just doesn't get much better than this.
A wonderful, classic piece of ballad writing by the master.

ECLIPSE (Subtitled "WHAT IN THE WORLD HAS HAPPENED HERE?" in the pre-release promotion, but not on the album sleeve).
This is a moody rocker - grim and oppressive but retaining a smooth AOR sound. It's held together by the keyboards and
angry guitar. The chanted chorus line is repeated and each time there's a different follow-up from Gary. This has a classic
TEN rocker sound. I would say that this is almost like the "Ten Fathoms Deep" of the album, and not just because of it's
seafaring imagery. Vinny makes that guitar do things I've never heard a guitar do as he goes into the solo. It's the quickest,
most intricate and tightly-packed sequence of flickering notes... I don't really have the words to describe it.

THE PHANTOM picks up the pace even more - a frenetic, fast-and-furious rocker with a tragic edge. The sound of a heartbeat
leads us into the song. There are jerky, progressive style chords cutting across the stream of the melody which gives way
into a busy, racing tune. Steve McKenna's bass is excellent on this track, it's fast booming clearly audible. If Eclipse
was the "Ten Fathoms Deep" of this album then this is a cross between "Battlelines" and "Bright On the Blade". When
the chorus comes in you get the impression you've heard it before. Ged Ryland's keyboards sound like transylvanian organs
and over the racing rhythm there is a solemn, mournful tune. You can imagine the tune of the verse being used in a tragic ballad.
The solo is dominated by keyboards, then guitar, then keyboards. Vinny's fluid and wonderfully expressive playing simply tears
out of the end of the riffs. Then towards the end the song turns down a gear into a slower, moodier tempo while the guitar
goes on screaming. This is the bluesy ballad you've been hearing throughout. It's easy to imagine the whole song being
originally written in this way or, like "Scream", having this slower section at the beginning as well as the end.
It's not so outlandish to imagine it being written as a ballad and then turned into a rocker - but it works really well!

TILL THE END OF TIME is light and simple and soft - you think this is going to be the "Precious Ones" of the album. There's
something distantly reminiscent of Journey or a Jonathan Cain penned ballad about it. There's simple keyboards and the lush
"aahhhhhhhh" of harmonising backing vocals. The bass slips in subtly, SO subtly that you hardly realise it's there. This song
is soft and calm, lulling you into an air of serenity. It winds down, and you just think it's finished when the guitars and
other instruments blast in and things get BIG for a closing instrumental section that brings the album to a close.

This album marks a progression for TEN. There's something for everyone on this CD. The new-sounding material isn't so removed
as to sound wrong being played by the band, and there's plenty of classic-sounding TEN tracks for fans of the
older albums. Gary Hughes has turned up his singing, songwriting, and production another notch. The lyrics are
thoughtful and intelligent. The imagery isn't as stark and compact as that on the Bob Catley album, but there's some
wonderfully vivid moments none-the-less. Each song has it's own story and it's own personality. Gary creates worlds
for you to immerse yourself in. His grasp of atmosphere is astounding. The songs on this album show how
versatile a writer Gary is. He can be personal and intimate at the same time as being epic and grandiose.
The production is lavish and bombastic, bringing the best out of each song, maximising their potential. With this material, Gary Hughes
establishes himself as the Jim Steinman of the melodic-rock genre.
I can hardly fault it in any way. This is one of the best albums I have ever heard, and will surely be record
of the year. This is the type of material other bands should be aiming at. TEN tread the line between AOR, hard rock,
progressive rock, and pomp rock - and blend them with magical results. Each member is a master of their craft, the best
at what they do. The music-industry can't afford to ignore material which is this good. There's no-one who does what TEN do,
they are paragons of their field. Hats off to you guys - you've really outdone yourselves is

25/01/99: alex - txungo@clientes.euskaltel.es
Rating: 95
It isn´t better than "The robe" but essencial. great job.

25/01/99: Josep Maria Flores - jflores@racclub.net
Rating: 9
Great album! Recomended! Ten turns into a vein more harder.


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