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12 Jan 2015 - 04:30:24 am

TEN - Albion [Japanese Edition] (2014)

TEN - Albion [Japanese Edition] (2014) full

One of the most underrated releases of 2014, and one that should have been in more 'best of' lists of the year, is the return of TEN with "Albion". For this blog, it's one of the highlights of the past 12 months.
Fronted by talented Gary Hughes, TEN's music delivers elaborated, intriguing, complete Melodic Hard Rock tunes, and this new CD is ranks alongside the better material produced by the British band in its fructiferous career.

"Albion" marks TEN's return to the classic sound that make them famous.
With numbers like the rocking opening track ‘Alone In The Dark Tonight’, the highly infectious 'It's Alive' (a highlight), the epic 'Albion Born' and the AOR melodies of 'Sometimes Love Takes The Long Way Home', the whole album feels instantly at home to any TEN fan.
Gary Hughes' production and the mixing &amp; mastering by Dennis Ward (Unisonic, Sunstorm, Place Vendome, Pink Cream 69 and more) have enabled all 7 band members to shine individually without stepping on each other and highlighting the appropriate instrumentation / musician at exactly the right time.

In addition it would be wrong to pass up the opportunity to comment on the album cover as well. Ten have always made a point of producing some amazing artwork for their records and this is no exception. It’s a cover that warrants a vinyl release for sure.

‘Alone In The Dark Tonight’ sees a solid rhythm built under the song from Steve Mckenna / Max Yates and some wonderful harmonies from Gary and the rest of the band on the chorus. The track immediately warrants the whole album to be listened to on a good set of headphones, with your life put to one side so that you can soak up the intricacies of what has been put together.
Hughes is a poet rather than ‘just’ a songwriter. The lyrics and the style in which Hughes delivers them on the album helps paint a landscape that draws the listener into the heart of the song.
Combine this with the excellent musicianship and album artwork and you get the complete package that purists will eagerly lap up.

The trio of guitarists, Dann Rosingana, Steve Grocott and of course mainstay John Halliwell are all given opportunity to shine. This is no more apparent than on ‘Albion Born’, another highlights.
Similarly, the guitars wail with emotion at the beginning of ‘A Smugglers Tale’ which brings to mind Spellbound era TEN.
‘Wild Horses’ is dynamic and varied with great guitar breaks, sublime keyboard / piano playing and to close out the last few seconds a heartbeat. Another reason why the headphones work so well.
Bonus track 'Good God In Heaven What Hell Is This' worth the invest in this Japanese edition, it's another highly melodic old-school TEN tune plenty of catchy riffs and great verses.

Gary Hughes has long had the ability to compose elaborated (and melodic) opuses and on "Albion" maintains a high level of musicality.
Credit then to Mr Hughes for not only composing one of the strongest TEN pack of songs ever, but also for finding the right band members to help deliver what is one of TEN’s best albums to date.
A welcome return to what they do best.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


01 - Alone In The Dark Tonight
02 - Battlefield
03 - It's Alive
04 - Albion Born
05 - Sometimes Love Takes The Long Way Ho
06 - A Smuggler's Tale
07 - Die For Me
08 - It Ends This Day
09 - Gioco D'Amore
10 - Wild Horses
11 - Good God In Heaven What Hell Is This (bonus)

Gary Hughes – lead and backing vocals, programming
Dann Rosingana – guitars
Steve Grocott – guitars
John Halliwell – guitars
Steve Mckenna – bass
Darrel Treece-Birch – keyboards
Max Yates – drums and percussion
.
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http://vanishednot.blogsfan.net/0dRck-b1/TEN-Albion-Japanese-Edition-2014-b1-p240.htm

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