Gary Hughes, Ten's founder, is a prolific songwriter, always has been. So it's no surprise the latest and tenth Ten album, Heresy and Creed, has 13 songs, 14 if you get the Japanese version, clocking in at over an hour. And they're all good, with not a lick of filler to be found.
Of course, the best thing about Ten's music is Hughes uncanny ability to blend hard rock, sometimes nearing a metal edge, with the accessibility and groove of AOR melodic rock. Frankly, he's a wizard. Straight out of the gate, passing the intro, Arabian Nights touches guitar driven melodic metal and Gunrunning, a catchy heavier melodic rock with that AOR groove. And that last description could apply generally to all the tunes here.
The Lights Go Down, Another Rainy Day, and Insatiable have arena rock quality. Then for songs slipping between anthem and ballad you have Raven's Eye, The Last Time, and The Riddle. A heavier quick-paced rocker returns with Unbelievable, something heavier and a bit slow burning with The Priestess. Between Hughes's versatile vocal style and the band's musicianship, the songs are expertly performed and presented. And Heresy and Creed simply sounds terrific, thanks to Dennis Ward being at the knobs.
Simply, Gary Hughes and Ten have produced another melodic hard rock AOR winner with Heresy and Creed. Easily recommended.