Maybe I’m the eternal sucker hoping Ten can be inspired enough to deliver something fitting of blistering melodic hard rock. So does this album become their redemption moment?
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Something Wicked This Way Comes
LABEL: Frontiers SRL
SERIAL: FRCD 1284
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Gary Hughes – vocals, guitars * Dann Rosingana – guitars * Steve Grocott – guitars * Darrel Treece-Birch – keyboards * Steve McKenna – bass * Markus Kullman – drums
Additional Musicians: Scott Hughes, Karen Fell – backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Look For The Rose * 02 Brave New Lie * 03 The Tidal Wave * 04 Parabellum * 05 Something Wicked This Way Comes * 06 The Fire And The Rain * 07 New Found Hope * 08 The Only Way Out * 09 When Darkness Comes * 10 The Greatest Show On Earth
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Ah ha, Ten are my favourite contender for the virtual punching bag. The ever targeted Manchester band can never find a break on this website, considering I’m the one heaping the pile-on of criticism of their music over many years. Gary Hughes and his merry men are unable to come up with anything that is remotely interesting, and that has been the case for many years.
Maybe I’m the eternal sucker hoping Ten can be inspired enough to deliver something fitting of blistering melodic hard rock, instead of the pompous and overblown fantasy/epic metal that has dogged this band for as long as I can remember. The most recent release that we reviewed was 2018’s ‘Gothica’ which saw a slight improvement but it was still a huge disappointment. So does this latest 2023 effort ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ become Ten’s redemption moment?
Not quite. I do think the musicianship is very good overall and quite lively throughout which is a good thing. However I’m not enthused with the lead vocal though. It’s very one dimensional from Gary, he’s locked into a mid range pitch without ever reaching into the stratosphere. Ten are supposedly a rock band.. Yes?
‘Look For The Rose’ was a decent opener, preceded by a Harry Potter like spoken word section. The band go for it and sound far better as a result. Good start. ‘Brave New Lie’ takes it cue from the late 80’s or early 90’s, this is more in keeping with how I expect Ten to sound. ‘The Tidal Wave’ didn’t hit the mark at all. This one was far too poppy with a boatful of nautical references. That piano was far too faux to the proper instrument.
The war rhetoric introducing ‘Parabellum’ was perhaps unnecessary. I’m not certain of the point being made, the merits of this track are as confused as the global dialog. No one knows who’s telling the truth. ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ introduces an electric piano like nursery rhyme motif, and was waiting for the song to get nasty relative to the song title which never occurred. It was far too inoffensive. Oh dear.
‘The Fire And The Rain’ started out with an interesting keyboard melody, then the guitars kicked in and changed the entire complexion of the song – for the worse. They should have kept the melody line going. ‘New Found Hope’ brings the listener into ballad mode. It comes across as an anthem. Like listening to a Styx tune from the past.
‘The Only Way Out’ is full of wet reverb laden choir like voices to start out with, but the song became less interesting as it went on. ‘When Darkness Comes’ returns to the energy levels of the first two songs. However, it must be difficult to sing about the darkness when the lights are on. Oops. The closing ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’ had good intentions, the guitars are upfront which gives it a solid footprint.
Everytime a Ten album is presented, I’ll have high expectations. But here I think we’ve been hoodwinked by the deceptive album cover and title. There is nothing remotely macabre nor mysterious about the clock, skull and supposed wickedness on the album whatsoever. And this is the problem I have with Ten in that they promise bluster and battle axes but deliver roses and champers in the most non-threatening way. I think I’ve said enough as I believe it’s too late for these cats to change their spots.
Look For The Rose
Brave New Lie
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