TEN - 'Babylon' - Heaven or Hell?
Posted by: Surfpunk ()
Date: August 13, 2000 09:38PM

My copy of 'Babylon' dropped through the door yesterday, (Thanks to Now & Then)
So, for what it's worth, here are my first impressions.

It' pretty much business as usual from TEN with this album. Overall the sound is reminiscent of 'The Robe' with Gary's ultra smooth, melting chocolate harmonies to the fore over the increasingly impressive Vinnie Burns who TOTALLY shreds his way through this album...again! Don Airey adds some new elements, Gregg Morgan continues to get a crap sound and John and Steve just come along for the ride!

You can still play 'Name That Tune' throughout as Gary thieves, Magpie like, from other songs. A verse here, a riff there, maybe a bridge or two before reclaiming the song as his own with a typically huge Hughes chorus. I won't spoil the game for you but see if you can spot the verse structure from Maxi Priest's 'Wild World' (I kid you not!) and I defy anyone not to sing 'Down in the valley of the ice and snow...' along to the chugging guitar intro of 'The Stranger'!

To be fair though, with 'Love Became The Law' and 'The Heat', Gary has tried to introduce some new elements into the bands sound and these are two of the strongest tracks on offer. 'Black Hearted Woman' although very instant is the sort of 'AOR by numbers' that Gary can write in his sleep. No doubt it will sound more impressive in Maximes though.

On a production/mix note the bass appears to be missing! I found myself having to crank up the bass on my system to get the balance right. Thing is, competent as Gary is ( and who knows what he is trying to achieve like him) the first TEN album still has the best sound and, expensive though it may be to retain a high profile producer, I for one would love to hear the results of a Hughes/Kevin Shirley collabaration.

I'd expected Don Airey to be all over this album like a rash but with the exception of a couple of flurries his contribution is more subtle, and all the better for it. Probably his most obvious contribution is on 'Thunder in Heaven' with it's 'Hocus Pocus like structure. The voice overs intended to link the story together are very weak though. Possibly Gary was intimidated by the success of DREAM THEATER'S 'Metropolis pt 2 and tried too hard avoid comparison with its structure.

Overall though this album will fit nicely into any TEN fans collection and there is no doubting that the end result is impressive. I can't really see it persuading any of those amongst you that haven't been convinced by the TEN machine so far however. Still, get a listen and make up your own mind.

Any chance of a tour Mark? With anyone. Dream Theater would be a good one.

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SubjectViewsWritten ByPosted
TEN - 'Babylon' - Heaven or Hell?349Surfpunk08/13/2000 09:38PM
RE: TEN - 'Babylon' - Heaven or Hell? 209Kris08/14/2000 02:49AM
RE: TEN - 'Babylon' - Heaven or Hell? 268Surfpunk08/14/2000 03:01AM
RE: TEN - 'Babylon' - Heaven or Hell? 295Kris08/14/2000 03:48AM
Gary Hughes is a God! 257Vince Viani08/14/2000 05:17AM
RE: TEN - 'Babylon' - Heaven or Hell? 212 Kieran 08/14/2000 05:15AM
RE: TEN - 'Babylon' - Heaven or Hell? 186Ten Fan08/14/2000 03:40PM
RE: TEN - 'Babylon' - Heaven or Hell? 275 Ten fan no2 08/15/2000 07:08AM
RE: TEN - 'Babylon' - Heaven or Hell? 267No Bollocks!08/15/2000 08:29PM
Hey Surfpunk....Timeless 273 Kieran 08/14/2000 05:25AM

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