I’ll be honest, I couldn’t really get into this Ten album. Really, this is a load of well-played nonsense. Can I put it any simpler than that?
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Isla De Muerta
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Gary Hughes – vocals * Dann Rosingana, Steve Grocott, John Halliwell – guitars * Steve Mckenna – bass * Darrel Treece-Birch – keyboards * Max Yates – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Buccaneers (Instrumental), Dead Men Tell No Tales * 02 Revolution * 03 Acquiesce * 04 The Dragon And Saint George * 05 Intensify * 06 This Love * 07 (i) Karnak (Instrumental) (ii) The Valley Of The Kings * 08 Tell Me What To Do * 09 Angel Of Darkness * 10 The Last Pretender * 11 Assault And Battery (Japan Bonus Track)
WEBLINKS: Site Link
This band runs hot and cold for me. More cold than anything else. I’d be quite comfortable sitting in an ice bath when hesring this lot after their recent outings. The last CD ‘Albion’ wasn’t very good to be honest. They promised to deliver with all guns blazing only to offer up a lukewarm cup of tea to the residents of a retirement home..
Instead, they’ve become the laughing stock of my CD collection. I think I should offload everything I own of theirs. But alas, no, I can’t quite do it, as their first few albums were pretty decent to be honest. Quite how Frontiers Records stuck with this lot for so long remains a mystery. Now signed to Rocktopia Records, I wonder how long they will tolerate them being part of their label.
So what of the latest ‘Isla De Muerta’? Are these British rockers planning a retirement to the Costa del Sol anytime soon? Should they toss it in, like we all keep telling Def Leppard to do? Looking at the cover art, it’s hard not to think of Caribbean conquests and illegal rum running during the heyday of ocean-going Pirates.
Hearing to this album however gives you a different impression altogether. It would be easy to label them as the Iron Maiden of the melodic rock scene, given their sense of overblown pompdom and the excessive playing time of the songs, but I think that would be slightly unfair. Iron Maiden have been fucking awful for the last two decades while these guys have not. So perhaps I should take that back?
But starting things off with a 6 minute 20 sec opener ‘Buccaneers/Dead Men Tell No Tales’ that is supposed to be about swashbuckling pirates sounds far too meek and mild. Really, this lot should’ve taken a leaf out of the book authored by Running Wild, Tankard and Alestorm.
‘Revolution’ sounds exactly the opposite of what Hughes and co were trying to convey. If this was their idea of a revolution, nobody would’ve bothered turning up to the town-square! There’s no dramatic lead-up to ‘The Dragon And St George’, it’s just one melodic rock song that segues from one to the next. And to be perfectly honest, it’s not very interesting musically either.
The exception to the rule would be the double-up ‘Karnak/The Valley Of The Kings’, but if you really want to experience Egypt in the melodic rock context, the debut Blue Murder CD is much better instead. At last, Ten show some claws with ‘Angel Of Darkness’, though it sounds like Gary Hughes showed up to the vocal session after having completed a yoga class! Jeez mate.
I’ll be honest, I couldn’t really get into this album. Really, this is a load of well-played nonsense. Can I put it any simpler than that? I mean who tolerates this stuff anymore ( don’t start..). Gary Hughes is a great singer, but his voice is far too kind for hard rock and metal. He should stick to pure AOR.
Ten have since released an EP ‘The Dragon And St George’, but even that won’t save them. To be honest, they should ditch the imagery, get back to modern day attitudes, dress sense and typical melodic rock themes, and deliver an album worthy of their past credentials. ‘Isla De Muerta’ is not it.