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Ten: Gothica
Ten - Gothica CD Album Review

Ten: Gothica

Melodic Hard Rock/Metal
4.5/5.0

There's much to be said for consistency and perseverance. Since their revival in 2010, Ten with founder, singer, and songwriter Gary Hughes at the helm have released five albums in the span of seven years. Gothica is Ten's thirteenth album and marks a return to the Frontiers Music label. The album also finds the band with same line up for three albums in a row.

Ten Band Photo

Ten

Simply, Gothica is signature Ten: classic melodic hard rock, sometimes with a metal edge or symphonic embellishment, but always enveloped in an AOR wrapper. All the songs are large on melody, harmony, and groove. Vocalist Gary Hughes leads with his smooth voice that effortlessly follows the melody and rhythm of the arrangement.

Three guitar harmony adds another layer to the melody, and then they swell to provide crisp solos from Dann Rosingana and Steve Grocott. Adding both color and atmosphere, gifted keyboard player Darrel Treece-Birch adds nuances of simple bright piano lines (The Grail, A Man For All Seasons) to more encompassing orchestration (The Wild King Of Winter, Paragon). Underneath all this, the bass and drums move the song with steady rhythm and groove.

In other words, all these things make for some entertaining, and notably consistent, Ten AOR melodic hard rock songs. Most fans will likely not find any disappointments within Gothica, but there are some stand out songs, some already mentioned above: A Man For All Seasons and Paragon. But there's also La Luna Dra-Cu-La with its lively beat and catchy chorus; In My Dreams, another song with a fine memorable refrain and smooth groove; and Travellers, with Treece-Birch's leading synth and Hughes' echoing vocals.

We can finish as simply as we started. Gothica finds Ten riding a wave of creative consistency, delivering another album of solid and entertaining melodic hard rock. Easily recommended.



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The Bottom Line

Gothica finds Ten riding a wave of creative consistency, delivering another album of solid and entertaining melodic hard rock. Easily recommended.

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