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Michael Sweet - Ten Award winner

Michael Sweet
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 29 November 2019, 7:22 AM

One boring matter that permeates Metal scene throughout the world is the old and eroded talk about religion on Metal. The right way: you can have one, you can choose to not have one, but don’t try to force other people to do what you think. And there are always some kids complaining about Christians on Metal. Well, Metal is for everyone, and if you’re not happy, you can leave it, simple like this. And one more thing: the complainers never show a musical work so good as can be hear on Michael Sweet’s solo career, as “Ten” is here to show.

Differently from his work on STRYPER, Michael uses his solo albums for express his own musical ideas. And on “Ten”, it’s heavier and aggressive than before, but always with that melodic insight that brings to mind U. S. Metal School inner elements (a very good technical insight with catching melodies). It can be said that all his influences from JUDAS PRIEST, VAN HALEN and others can be felt, but always in a personal way. Michael produced “Ten”, having Danny Bernini working on the recording and mixing, and Alex Saltz on the mastering. All to give the album a modern and powerful impact, but always based on an organic outfit. Of course this last feeling comes from the instrumental tunes used. And the name of some invited guests will make your brains blow in ecstasy: Jeff Loomis, Marzi Montazeri, Howie Simon, Gus G., Rich Ward, Ethan Brosh, Joel Hoekstra, Tracii Guns, Todd La Torre (on the vocals on “Son of Man”), Jake Manzi, Paul McNamara, and Tony Gandelli, all giving an especial shine to the album.

“Ten” is a Hard ‘n’ Heavy album, powerful, melodic and extremely charming on all its songs. But the energy and powerful impact of “Better Part of Me” (where some influences from JUDAS PRIEST can be heard on the excellent guitar riffs and solos), the Hard ‘n’ Heavy blow of “Lay It Down” (excellent chorus, and a heavy and thunderous work from bass guitar and drums), the deep ambiance of “Now or Never”, the bitter slow paced tempos of “Ten”, the positive vibe of “Shine”, the modern Hard groove energy of “When Love is Hated”, the mix between accessible melodies and aggressive weight of “With You Till the End”, and the trademark U. S. Metal elements heard on “Son of Man” are the best ones.

All that’s left to say is: luck to all those who have a refined musical taste to hear and like such fine bands as STRYPER and the solo career of Michael. “Ten” is amazing. But to all those who are still in love with wannabe rules on the scene, it’s truly a pity…

Musicianship: 10
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Better Part of Me
2. Lay It Down
3. Forget, Forgive
4. Now or Never
5. Ten
6. Shine
7. Let It Be Love
8. Never Alone
9. When Love is Hated
10. Ricochet
11. With You Till the End
12. Son of Man
Michael Sweet - Vocals, Guitars
John O'Boyle - Bass (session)
Will Hunt - Drums (session)
Record Label: Frontiers Music


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