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Articles Home » 2014 Articles » Ten - 2014 Albion
Ten - 2014 Albion

ALBUM: Albion
LABEL: Rocktopia
YEAR: 2014


LINEUP: Gary Hughes - lead and backing vocals, programming * Dann Rosingana, Steve Grocott, John Halliwell - guitars * Steve McKenna - bass * Darrel Treece-Birch - keyboards * Max Yates - drums and percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Alone In The Dark Tonight * 02 Battlefield * 03 It's Alive * 04 Albion Born * 05 Sometimes Love Takes The Long Way Home * 06 A Smuggler's Tale * 07 Die For Me * 08 It Ends This Day * 09 Gioco D'Amore * 10 Wild Horses



Blessed with perhaps the dopiest cover of 2014, British band Ten somehow manage to find treasure in the trash in terms of their ongoing career. These guys must have a four-leaf clover in their history book, as it seems they can muster a record deal out of nothing. Well actually, if you'd read the article on the Now & Then record label in 'Classic Rock Presents.. AOR issue 12', then you'd understand why this band literally seem to have the luck of the Irish about them. No longer with Frontiers Records, after spending more than a decade on their roster, Ten are on the fledgling Rocktopia label, joining fellow Brits In Faith as recent signings. Ten aren't a band that I've taken to my heart, anything but to be honest. However, I did take a listen to their previous 2012 album 'Heresy And Greed', and thought it was ok, enough to make me want to give this one an opportunity.

The Songs
Over the years, I've enjoyed Gary Hughes vocals on his solo projects. He's got a cool voice, but I'm listening to this wanting for the band to rock out big time, considering the imagery, lyrics and subject matter, and none of it connects. It's super smooth, layered guitars etc, but there are no rough edges and massive doses of overblown keyboards. Place this against the new Saracen album for instance, and this comes in well behind. The production overall sounds too glossy and kind. I did like 'Albion Born' and 'Smugglers Tale' though, the 7 minute 'Die For Me' too was reasonable, some good guitar work can be found here. You know there's something not quite right when a band is singing about war, battles, death, sin and hell etc, and it's all played without any venom or intensity.

In Summary
Sound like a case of going through the motions? Not quite. The band can deliver, but not in the style that I'd like to see. Still, if you like your hard rock played in the Ten style, then you'll enjoy this. However, if you want power, and a rough-house edge, then this album isn't for you. 'Albion' is good for what it is, and should at least be given a listen to see if it's worth your while.

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#1 | kim_hp on May 26 2015 11:59:43
That 'chick' on the cover is actually my wife, who has been working as rock model for several years now, and I know the cover artist personally. Italian guy. To his defense, I don't think the cover concept was his
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