Ten – Gothica
Frontiers Music s.r.l
Release Date: 07/07/2017
Running Time: 58:00
Review by Vikkie Richmond
British hard rockers Ten are turning out to be stalwarts of the melodic rock scene; in a career spanning over 22 years, “Gothica” is their thirteenth studio album and their history reads like a novel – far too many twists and turns in the plot to go into here! Suffice to say that “Gothica”, mixed by Ten favourite Dennis Ward, is described as, “A web of musically elaborate spells, evoking embers that spark the imagination.” I don’t know about that, but feel free to read on for my humble opinion …
Whether by coincidence, design or happy fluke, there are ten tracks on this album. I was looking forward to listening to it, but I did find the whole thing, well … slightly odd. It kicked off innocently enough, with a little bit of incantation and some sterling, power guitar chords on the opening track, “The Grail”. This is a vaguely cinematic-sounding track, not surprising then that the accompanying bio states that, “Gothica is cinematic in every sense”. I tend to agree, I think.
“Jekyll and Hyde” contains some sweet little tricks to give it a ‘spooky’ feel and again, there are some power chords in evidence, running through the track. “A Man For All Seasons” has a folky feel to the start of the song which is proof of how diverse Ten are; make sure you check out “La Luna Dra-Cu-La” for a bit of fun laced drama.
There is a more rocky feel on most of the tracks, but they all have a vaguely cheesy feel to them; that’s not to say that they aren’t good songs, but I think you have to like a certain type of music (not that we like to pigeon-hole, once again) to fully appreciate Ten’s work. I understand the concept of the album and for the most part, I think it’s very good musically; in places it sounds a little dated, like something you would find on an 80s movie soundtrack (see “Travellers” as exhibit ‘A’).
Having said that, Ten are all the richer for utilising so many different musical talents – there are eight vocalists and musicians that feature on this album. It’s not really for me, but it’s an interesting one that has cross-genre appeal. Ten have many fans around the globe and I’m confident that they will adore “Gothica” just as much as the other albums that Ten have produced, as “Gothica” is a feel good, bouncy offering that is a little dark in places, featuring some superb skill and musical talent. I’ll leave you to make your own minds up – let us know if you agree!
Stand out tracks: Jekyll and Hyde, The Wild King of Winter, Welcome To The Freak Show
01. The Grail
02. Jekyll and Hyde
04. A Man For All Seasons
05. In My Dreams
06. The Wild King Of Winter
08. Welcome To The Freak Show
09. La Luna Dra-Cu-La
10. Into Darkness
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