Released By: Rocktopia Records
Release Date: 20th May 2015
Genre: Hard / Melodic Rock
Gary Hughes – Vocals
Steve McKenna – Bass
Johnny Halliwell – Guitars
Steve Grocott – Guitars
Dan Rosingana – Guitars
Darrell Treece-Birch – Keyboards
Max Yates – Drums
01 – Buccaneers – Dead Men Tell No Tales
02 – Tell Me What To Do
03 – Acquiesce
04 – This Love
05 – The Dragon And Saint George
06 – Intensify
07 – Karnak – The Valley Of The Kings
08 – Revolution
09 – Angel Of Darkness
10 – The Last Pretender
11 – We Can Be As One
UK melodic rockers Ten return with their follow up to the fantastic Albion with their latest release Isla De Muerta. Gary Hughes, an undisputed warlock of songwriting, and the lads deliver a masterclass with this themed epic that flutters effortlessly between the melodic and the metal.
Opening with ‘Buccaneers’, your standard pirate-epic instrumental, an electric guitar slowly creeps into the arena with ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’. The three-part lead guitar harmonizing gives this song a genuine seafaring feel to it, all the while maintaining that melodic / metal stamp. Something that has been done before, has been done a great justice again here with this superb opener.
The classic melodic Ten vibe is revisited in all of its glory in the follow up track ‘Tell Me What To Do’. Opening with kicking drums and a very suave guitar lick, you begin to get what you’re used to from these guys. The chorus, as ever, is catchy as hell and will play nice with your ears, no doubt. This song is a winner and definitely throwing punches among the top three on the record.
We all love a ballad. Really, we do. Well, ‘This Love’ is sure to light a wee fire by the heart. A marriage of soft piano and Hughe’s delicate vocals are stunning in the first few verses. Backing vocals compliment the chorus well as the drums kick in. Lead guitar emphatically steals the show with what is a beautifully constructed solo that leads into a tentative piano break and key change for the final chorus. I refer to my earlier choice of words: master-class.
If there’s one thing I love as a former English student, it’s unique, rarely used words. ‘Acquiesce’, one of the album’s undisputed gems, pleases me in several respects then. Beautifully titled and cleverly put together, this song is another demonstration of what we have come to expect from this melodic rock heavyweight. A sublime fusion of synth, squealing guitar, relentless rhythm and another hook-laden chorus, this track is another champion.
Juxtaposing melodic rock tracks such as ‘Intensify’ and ‘Tell Me What To Do’ with metal grandiose like ‘The Dragon And Saint George’ demonstrates efficiency across a vast spectrum with these guys. If you’ve heard Albion, you’ll know what Ten are all about. They know how find another level.
This is one superb album from start to finish, with some tracks knocking others for six. If you like melody, laced with a little metal, this one is for you.
Written by: Phil Bailie
Ratings: Phil 9/10