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Ten - The Twilight Chronicles (CD)

The Twilight Chronicles
by Grigoris Chronis at 01 September 2006, 9:41 AM

Take a look at the track listing. Could you ever imagine such titles belong (all of them in a row) to Ten tunes? When I remember of the British band's monumental ''The Name Of The Rose'' album back in 1996, it's rather worth the notice how the hell this band has changed, developed or declined (choose what suits your taste better).
Well, Gary Hughes has always been willing to mix melodic music with historic/archeological/science fiction lyrical themes. Remember lyrics in (or) titles like ''I Will Cry For You'', ''Far Beyond The World'', ''The March Of The Argonauts'' or ''Bright On The Blade'' and it is obvious that - apart from the 'proper' harmonic songwriting - Ten started gradually developing a more 'pomp'/epic direction. Is this a sign of Gary Hughes wishing to follow only this specific path from now on? Is he eager to return to more emotional formulas at some time in the near future? To sum it up, I'd rather 'derive' such titles (partially, of course!) from the likes of bands like Mob Rules or Nocturnal Rites, Mind Odyssey or X Symphony, Magellan or Shadow Gallery to give you an idea.
Second thing - to carry on - that should be mentioned is the songs' durations. Ten tracks for over seventy minutes of music is really 'on the edge'. Even the band's die-hard fans are likely to get a little bit bored in the meantime. Especially when Ten seem to have - gradually again - loosen up speed, leaving aside the fact that Hughes' voice has become even more narrative/memorizing throughout the entire tracklist. The production carries on the legacy of the band's post-''Babylon'' (2000) sound. The 'pomp' reference previously lays on the fact that both the keyboards and the 'velvet' layer of the vocal lines are on the foreground, leaving the rhythm guitars struggling to gain some space.
This fact - of course - is rather logical, since the tunes featured in this new album have this 'cosmic' blend, a 'mind ritual' dimension that Ten surely know how to develop note by note. ''Hallowed Ground'' talks to the primitive heart and ''The Twilight Masquerade'' travels back and forth in time and space. ''Born To The Grave'' reflects the inner compulsion of a human while ''The Prologue/Rome'' opens up the odyssey like an appropriate opus.
This is the crucial scene. If you cannot stand the opening duo, then really slight are the chances you'll be acquainted with/accept this release. This 'mature' release, shall we underline. Ten are in an 'upwards' direction - in their philosophy - and I think it's rather critical how much ''The Twilight Chronicles'' will 'touch' the band's loyal fans. He/She'd strongly 'taste' it first, but he/she wouldn't get disappointed with the result.

3 Star Rating

The Prologue/Rome (The Elysian Fields Part I)
The Chronicles
The Elysian Fields
Hallowed Ground
This Heart Goes On
The Twilight Masquerade
Born To The Grave
When The Night Is Done/Epilogue (The Last Moments Before Dawn)
Gary Hughes - Vocals
Chris Francis - Guitars, Bass
John Halliwell - Guitars
Paul Hodson - Keyboards
Frank Basile - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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