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Ten - Isla De Muerta Award winner

Isla De Muerta
by Nitsan "Moonchild" Cohen at 14 June 2015, 4:59 PM

I don't even know how to begin referring a band like TEN. They have been doing amazing music for two decades now, and for their 20th anniversary they've released their 13th studio album. Every single thing that was good about Hard Rock in the past twenty years of their work is reflected in this marvelous album. I didn't need more than one listen for each song to fall in love with this album, this band, and everything they've done.

For those of you who are not familiar with the work of TEN, they are a British Hard Rock band. Unlike most bands, TEN was formed only after two solo albums by the lead singer, Gary Hughes. In the process of making his third album, TEN was created and easily turned from a solo project to a band. Their first album, "X", sold over 100,000 copies in just a weeks' time from its release. For the tour following the album release, TEN recruited a few more members, turning from a simple singer-guitar-drums band, into a super group including 7 members- 3 guitars, a keyboard, drums, bass, and of curse an awesome singer. In twenty years of work, they haven’t stopped, not even for a moment to breathe. Their latest highlight, this album named "Isla De Muerta", is a complete masterpiece.

By the name, artwork, and first song including an instrumental part called "Buccaneers" and a second part named "Dead Men Tell No Tales" are in the same nautical, sailors and pirates theme. This does not stick onto the entire album, which takes us to a quest with a dragon in "The Dragon And Saint George", or for some nice love songs like "The Last Pretender". All in all, lyrics wise, the album has the themes of any normal Power Metal. The guitars and keyboards are also in that area of Power\\Heavy Metal, and the best kind of it at that. The drums, in the other hand, are a bit slower than and not as hard as normal Heavy Metal which might be the reason for all to declare TEN to be pure Hard Rock. The only thing that seems different of those definitions of Power, Heavy or Hard Rock, is Hughes's amazing vocals. The sound of his voice is not what you expect to hear when approaching and old-school band of this kind. His voice is not high nor pitchy, but soft, deep and full. Ignoring the roaring, fast guitars in the background, the vocals might even get them to be light Symphonic Metal.

So after all those mumblings about genres, there's one thing left to say- "Isla De Muerta" by TEN might be the best album made for people like me, that enjoy the hard yet more melodic bands, in a long time. In it, all the instruments sit together in perfect balance (just a reminder – there are three guitars, and keyboards!) without one outstanding the other. In some spots, there are even two guitar solos and a keyboard one at the same time, and it sound great. As I said before, there's not much to say about a band that has been around for almost as long as I am. The sound effects are just right, and are not harming the natural sound. All of those together create an amazing combination between old fashion music to modern, clear sounds thus making something close to perfect. That is why I gave them the perfect TEN, and every other word is needless.


5 Star Rating

1.  (i) Buccaneers/ (ii) Dead Men Tell No Tales
2.  Revolution
3.  Acquiesce
4.  The Dragon And Saint George
5.  Intensify
6.  This Love
7.  (i) Karnak/ (ii) The Valley Of The Kings
8.  Tell Me What To Do
9.  Angel Of Darkness
10.  The Last Pretender
11.  Assault And Battery (Japan Bonus Track)
Gary Hughes – Vocals
Johnny Halliwell – Guitar
Dann Rosingana – Guitar
Steve Grocott – Guitars
Darrel Treece-Birch - Keyboards
Max Yates – Drums
Steve McKenna – Bass
Record Label: Rocktopia Records


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