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Ten: Albion




Ten celebrated 20 years in the business short while back. Starting out almost by chance as the third solo album of main man Gary Hughes, an early incarnation included both guitarist Vinny Burns and drummer Greg Morgan (ex. DARE). Their first release was “X” in 1996, meaning that 2015 will be a reason for celebrating once again. Guitarist John Halliwell came aboard as touring guitarist at the time, as well as keyboard player Ged Rylands. In 1997 bassist Steve McKenna joined, both of them are still in the band. Otherwise the band is made up of members recruited since 2011; guitarists Dann Rosingana and Steve Grocott, keyboard player Darrel Treece-Birch and drummer Max Yates. Yes, the band is now a seven piece, aiming more layers of sound apparently.

My MP3 player switched the order of the tracks and I was less than after “It´s Alive”, which is perhaps the weakest track on the album. But a few spins later I must say that this is British craftsmanship, especially in the right order. Latter day TEN albums have not impressed, but this is probably a rejuvenated band. They manage to do melodic rock, quite close to MAGNUM at times, in spirit at least (pun intended), with masterful arrangements, mature refrains, even a soft track like “Sometimes Love Takes the Long Way Home” lacks butter but still packs a punch in the genre. Opener “Alone in the Dark Tonight” is gifted with a really gritty riff for the genre proving that melodic rock bands don’t have to leave the distortion pedal at home. The highly epic “Albion Born”, the pompous “A Smuggler´s Tale”, the almost WHITESNAKE-y” first single “Die for Me” and the true wild card Italian special “Gioco D´amoure” are all top class, and the entire album has a feeling of time, thought and ability. I think somehow that three guitarists ought to sound more but the many layers of music are definitely there to discover and the album deserves a good few spins. This is TEN back in action...true Brit style!

Track List
Alone in the Dark Tonight
It´s Alive
Albion Born
Sometimes Love Takes the Long Way Home
A Smuggler´s Tale
It Ends This Day
Die for Me
Gioco D´Amoure
Wild Horses

Writer: Mikael Johansson
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