CD Reviews

TEN - 'Heresy And Creed' Hot
Written by Central Electronic Brain     October 11, 2012    
0.0 (0)
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A brilliant return to form and beyond.

This is a pleasant surprise so soon after the slightly disappointing last outing Storm Warning (click here to read the album review on Rocktopia).

Starting with atmospheric and eastern sounding instrumental The Gates of Jerusalem before heavy keyboard lead into Arabian Nights. If you loved Spellbound (who didn’t?) and Malmsteen’s Odyssey album then this will leave you breathless. The guitar playing is jaw dropping and the songs instantly catchy chorus is a fantastic way to start. Gary Hughes voice seems a little deeper than previously but is all the better for it as Gunrunning kicks in with just as much fervour and is arguably catchier than the opener! Great use of keyboards here heavily underpinning the great guitar play and memorable hookline. Heart of the City continues the magnificent standard with more incredible guitar work and a good use of the much loved twin guitar style a’ la Thin Lizzy at their peak with yet another mature vocal performance from Gary Hughes coming on like a Coverdale/Lynott hybrid (if such a thing is imaginable).

As if to let the listener catch their breath Ten slow things down with the mainly acoustic Raven’s Eye which is entertaining at atmospheric despite it being the most blatant steal in recent memory! If you like Scarborough Fair then you will like this!! It does break into a stomping vaguely Lizzy/Moore style mid tempo song but the refrain is simply Scarborough Fair, there is just no escaping it. And so to Right Now, starting with an odd almost buggles style keyboard pattern before a tasty guitar riff takes over, with its stop/start tempo and repeated chorus this is something of a departure for Ten and makes for great listening as the album continues to hold the attention for all the right reasons – great songs.

Next up is the rapid fire riffing and galloping drums of Game of Hearts which recalls the more commercial side of Dream Theater; there is a lovely restrained guitar solo here that balances the song perfectly and again it’s a very memorable hook with great instrumentation throughout. The pace lets up again with superb keyboards and acoustic guitar for the beautiful ballad The Last Time, aching vocals and a superb bridge lead into a classic chorus with tasteful guitar fills making this without the doubt the best ballad Ten have ever recorded and evoking memories of Gary’s self-titled solo album from, gulp, 1992; is it really 20 years ago?

Bonham style drumming opens The Priestess with a slightly funky riff and tempo means we are taken in yet another direction with the track, recalling Extreme at their peak with a nod to Spellbound in the vocal department but again a very memorable song if only for the unusual style for Ten. Insatiable immediately ups the tempo with classic Ten guitars and drums romping along at a good pace with Gary doing his best Coverdale breathy vocals as the up tempo number doesn’t let up into the chorus and maintains the tempo through to the climax, ahem sorry! More atmospheric keyboards open Another Rainy Night before guitar washes in the vocals on the most commercial song on the album. This is the kind of song that would’ve been found in the US top 30 throughout the 80s/90s calling to mind the like of Journey and Bon Jovi (when they were a rock band) and even a touch of the Bruce Hornsby’s but in a good way!

And so to the closing pair of Unbelievable and The Riddle. The first being a varied tempo rocker with great guitar interplay and foot tapping bass line making it a sure-fire live favourite and classic Ten before closing with the stunning piano led The Riddle. Pure atmosphere and emotion with a reflective vocal and superb musical accompaniment with special mention of the keyboard work throughout from new(ish) boy Darrell Treece-Birch, this is a beautiful ending to a truly classic album which I have no hesitation in calling the best Hard Rock album to come out of the UK in the last 25 years. Every track demands repeated listens the guitar work of Dan Mitchel and John Halliwell is a constant joy and this album has never been off my stereo since I received it.

By far the best thing Ten have ever done and the most varied and mature set of songs Gary Hughes has been involved with. If this is the style of things to come from Ten then we could at long last see them breaking through and being acknowledged as a truly great British rock band in the same way that Rainbow Purple, Lizzy, UFO et all are regarded. A brilliant return to form and beyond. Buy It Now!!

Nikki Tylar

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Comments (4)add comment

jim said:

i digress, this is worse than storm warning. It sounds worse and it has 13 songs, with 3-4 being fillers. but the rest is pretty decent. The drum production sounds, odd and the sounds is a little inferior too. And this ain't an exclusive, I've read 6 reviews by now !
October 11, 2012
Votes: -4

h said:

This is the best news in ages, if one uk band had the potential to go all the way it was Ten. It looked like they had missed the boat over the last few years but if this is a s good as the review states then their time could have finally arrived!? I will definately be buying this one.
October 12, 2012
Votes: +4

Hysteria said:

-3 VS +3 votes ... interesting. I am sure that the truth will lie in between. Having said that, I cannot wait to listen to this album!
October 16, 2012
Votes: +1

BLM said:

Would have flown much better with a different running order ... the middle gets bogged down a bit. But certainly some great Ten songs on here .. and live, the band KILL!!!
October 17, 2012
Votes: +0

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