TEN - Isla De Muerta (Review)

information persons: 
section name: 
Dead Men Tell No Tales
This Love
Angel Of Darkness
The Last Pretender

Produced By: 
Gary Hughes / Mixed: Dennis Ward
Running Time: 
Release Date: 
May 20
Musical Style: 
Melodic Hard Rock
Release Year: 
Ten’s newie touches on just about everything that the band is known for - Gary Hughes’ simple, but warm vocals; pomp flavoured hard rock tunes that run the gamut from simple to epic; totally bonkers lyrics about spectral astrology, mandrake twilight, dragons, distressed wenches and stuff like that; and a comforting knowledge that band ringleader Hughes knows where his strengths are and plays to them.
The best thing about this recent revival in Ten’s fortunes is Gary’s refined production skills. This album features a massive sound, mixing a triple powerhouse guitar attack with a rich deep organ and keyboard presence, all mixed into a clean wall of sound by Dennis Ward.
The album picks up where Albion left off. Where Albion’s style and sound could arguably be placed against the band’s classic debut, so to can this sequel be placed alongside the band’s original Name Of The Rose opus, which followed the self-titled debut.
I’m impressed with the lineup now in play. I hope they can maintain some stability there now.
Opening with the epic Dead Men Tell No Tales, the band’s boisterous sound is in full flight, with guitars dueling like clashing swords upon the good ship Ten.
Tell Me What To Do is a keyboard filled pomp rocker with some curious lyrics, but a commercial, poppy chorus.
Acquiesce is darker and a little more intense and is classic Ten all the way.
This Love is a terrific classic Gary Hughes ballad with soaring vocals and guitars all the way. You’ve heard it before from Gary, but I’m happy to keep hearing quality ballads like this.
The Dragon And Saint George features swirling keyboards, fast twisting vocals and keeps up a decent pace throughout.
Intensify is another fast moving melodic rocker, but this one stands out for a brilliant vocal melody in the chorus and a classic Ten sound. Love this one and it runs over 7 minutes.
The even more epic 8 minute The Valley Of The Kings is reminiscent of the Name Of The Rose album again, taking a long way around approach, with soloing guitars all over this one.
Revolution clocks in at over 6 minutes, giving the middle part of the album a really epic feel. The track itself is a punchy fast moving hard rocker with some impressive metal guitar soloing.
The moody and heavy Angel Of Darkness moves even faster, with drummer Max Yates earning his keep.
The Last Pretender is a 7 minute melodic rocker with a big groove and another appealing chorus structure.
It wouldn’t be a Ten album unless we closed with a simple, piano ruled sentimental ballad. This time it’s We Can Be As One doing the job. The song builds to a big finish in pretty quick time.

It’s another must have for long time Ten devotees and anyone who really enjoyed last year’s Albion release.
Big guitars, big production, big pomp and some epic songs about love, life, scurvy dogs and pillaging the seven seas. What more could you ask for?