Published on September 28th, 2017 | by Justin G.
Ten: Gothica (Frontiers)
Long-running British melodic rock band Ten is back on the Frontiers label (where they really belong) and back with a new album, their 13th to date, titled Gothica. The album is produced (as always) by founding vocalist/songwriter Gary Hughes and is mixed/mastered once again by Dennis Ward.
After 13 albums it’s safe to say there’s a Ten sound, and they don’t stray from that on Gothica. It’s right in the same zone as previous Ten albums on the Frontiers label like Stormwarning or Heresy and Creed. Hughes is just as comfortable writing epic melodic rockers as he is writing love songs, and he serves up a good measure of both here, though Gothica (wisely) favors the more rocking songs. It’s those songs – “The Grail,” “Jekyll and Hyde,” “The Wild King of Winter” and the epic “A Man For All Seasons” (such a great The Robe vibe on that one) – that make Ten albums so memorable, not that slower songs like “Travelers” aren’t enjoyable as well. Their ode to female fantasy characters “In My Dreams” and the the strangely upbeat “La Luna Dra-Cu-La” stand out, and not in a good way, but they’re the rare missteps on Gothica.
At this point you know what to expect from a new Ten album, and you get exactly that on Gothica. Hughes and company practically invented this kind of epic melodic rock, and they turn in another well-written, well-crafted album here. Hughes’ soaring vocals still transport you to another world, and Ten still delivers the melodies to keep these songs in your head after the album ends. If you’re already a Ten fan, you can’t pass this one by, and Gothica would make an effective introduction for new fans as well.
Summary: Predictable but oh so satisfying. Ten never disappoints.