SEE BELOW TO ADD YOUR OWN REVIEW!

Ten Return To Evermore Intensity Records
· Produced By: Gary Hughes

· Running Time: 66.00

· Release Date: June 23

· Released: UK

· Musical Style: Melodic Hard Rock/AOR

· Links: Ten
95%
Songs: 97%
Sound: 93%
It's actually been two years since Ten's last studio album, Far Beyond The World. Being that Gary Hughes is always busy with different projects and last year was consumed with the Once And Future King releases, I didn't think I had missed the band during their time away.
But one listen to Return To Evermore and I was reminded of just why I love the band and in fact, how much I had missed hearing new material.
Ten have their own unique sound, and Gary Hughes has his own distinct vocal style. The pairing of the two is something that really works and has impressed me since their debut album in 1995.
While always retaining their "sound", the band has varied their delivery in recent outings, heading in a heavier, more direct approach with the songs.
However Return To Evermore is a return to the band's trademark styles – epic rockers mixed with vocally complex, layered AOR anthems and power ballads.
This album is a return to the sound of Name Of The Rose and Ten, with a little of The Robe thrown in. And naturally, there are a couple of new twists too, but the end result is another cracking album that will appeal to the band's long time fans and those that adored the layered melodic bliss of the debut.
This album also sees the debut of guitarist Chris Francis. He's been on board for a while now and played all over the Once And Future King epics, but this remains his first Ten album. His sharp guitar work insures the band doesn't miss a beat from its past with guitar great Vinny Burns.
Before delving into a track by track analysis, there is one thing I did find with this album. It rocks where needed and the ballads are lush, but the mid-tempo AOR tracks are just superb. They are so utterly commercial, it will be hard for anyone to dislike the material on offer here.
The album also has a fairly relaxed vibe. The urgency and the more aggressive nature of the last couple of albums isn't here. And I for one like this approach. It's just an enjoyable melodic hard rock record that you can take on face value. Track By Track:
The album opens with the 8 minute plus epic Apparition, which is pretty much classic Ten in every way. The slow intro, the building tempo, the flailing drum and guitar parts and a few tempo changes; all bound together by a great melody and a memorable chorus. Oh, and did I mention the big guitar solo?
The track moves directly into Dreamtide, thanks to some well placed keyboard fills. A tight guitar riff kicks things along in a fairly relaxed manner before Gary's vocals give the song a direction. Another great chorus features heavily throughout the 6 and a half minute track. Another example of classic early Ten.
Evermore is a more intense, uptempo track and gets the groove going with some Celtic style keyboard fills a la Gary Moore. The pace is rocking, the guitars are filling the speakers and I love the chorus. It's a big harmony filled affair that will invoke sing-a-longs whenever played.
Sail Away is a magic ballad, no question about it. Typical again of early Ten, this one features strings, piano and a monster chorus that cannot be removed from one's consciousness once heard. An album highlight.
Starting with an acapella intro, Temple Of Love could be mistaken for a big rocker about to explode. But surprisingly it's in fact a very commercial, very simple and enjoyable pop rocker. The album is quite varied throughout and this is just another example.
Even The Ghosts Cry is another album gem. Again the intro hints at something different, with a guitar solo issuing in the song, which then appears in a burst of pure AOR melody. This is classic AOR, with layered vocals, prime keyboards throughout, a hugely melodic guitar riff (and killer solo), and best of all, a monster chorus that is as catchy as anything released this year.
Strangers In The Night continues the moody AOR passage of the middle of the album. This is a lower, slightly darker rock track with another strong chorus, all played down a little bit after the over the top nature of the preceding track.
Evil's On Top Of The World sounds heavy, and although it features a strong guitar riff, it's actually equally driven by acoustic guitars and keyboards. Another prominent chorus, but not my personal favourite of the album.
The One is another uptempo rocker with a strong keyboard fill and a more urgent, intense feel. Another good chorus makes the track, which is perfectly placed within the album.
Lost Soul is a very enjoyable, good fun uptempo rocker with another memorable chorus and some great lead and rhythm guitar work.
Stay A While is an acoustic ballad which turns heavier and darker. It flows quite nicely and is more reminiscent of recent heavier Ten tracks.
The album closes with something a little different. Tearing My Heart Out is easily the band's most modern sounding track ever, with a revised, aggressive guitar tone driving the song. The structure is slightly different and the chorus is certainly something new. I'm impressed to hear such a change of approach and enjoy this song, but at the same time, I'm glad the whole album is not in such a vein.
The Bottom Line
Classic Ten - nothing more, nothing less. The band has little to prove after all these years and a considerable catalogue of music, so they have just set about doing what they do best and have returned to a more classic melodic sound, which has to please longtime fans. A very strong set of songs that could even rope in new fans.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Ten
· The Name Of The Rose
· The Robe
· Never Say Goodbye
· Spellbound
· Babylon
· Far Beyond The World
· Return To Evermore

Line Up
· Gary Hughes: Vocals
· Chris Francis, John Haliwell: Guitar
· Greg Morgan: Drums
· Steve McKenna: Bass
· Paul Hodson: Keyboards

Essential for fans of:
· Ten
· Gary Hughes
· Bob Catley
Track Listing
· Apparition
· Dreamtide*
· Evermore*
· Sail Away*
· Temple Of Love
· Even The Ghosts Cry*
· Strangers In The Night
· Evil's On Top Of The World
· The One
· Lost Soul*
· Stay A While
· Tearing My Heart Out
--*Best Tracks


11/11/05: LEE F - kiamoon22@yahoo.com
Rating: 96
0k so im a big ten fan and proud of it, gary hughes can do no wrong and this is 1 of there best.anutha ten album where my skip button becomes useless on my remote.fav songs R sail away,temple of love,even the ghosts cry and evils on top in the world. bring on the next ten album

14/10/04: Sluggus Jovialis - figlt@hotmail.com
Rating: 85
I have mixed feelings about this album. I agree with the reviewer who thinks that TEN peaked with Babylon. That CD has it all: great ballads (Silent Rain, Valentine), and great rockers (Barricade, Thunder In Heaven, Black Hearted Woman).

Far Beyond the World was good, and RtE is at about the same quality level of FFTW. Sail Away is a top-notch ballad; I really like what the band did with Tearing My Heart Out; Evermore is a superb Red ripoff, but the rest is kinda blah. Don't get me wrong, TEN is still better than most out there, but I was expecting something a little more. For one, I do miss the Vinny Burns influence. His 'organic' soloing was to me as integral to TEN as Gary Hughes' voice. Chris Francis may be good technically, but the solos are not as well integrated in the songs as I would like.

05/09/04: Hanuk Baac - meduza@freechal.com
Rating: 98
This time TEN has gone back to their roots, more epic, more melodic and more bigger and pompous sound. This is what we exactly want from the mighty TEN. The new guitarist Chris Francis is a huge addition to the band, Chris leans more towards heavy metal and I can see a lot of George Lynch and Eddie Van Halen on him, his solo on Temple of Love is the best and the heaviest of TEN's career, that reminds me of Dokken's Tooth & Nail. Vinny's solos were boring, now finally we can enjoy the band's solos. Gary's songwriting is great as usual, there are absolutely no fillers. My favorites are uptempo rocker Evil's On Top In The World that are reminiscent of Goodnight Saigon and Even The Ghosts Cry that shows softer side of TEN. I can't understand people who rate this cd under 95.

05/09/04: Dave M - djmayerfzr@hotmail.com
Rating: 92
What a great surprise!!! Never really been into Ten that much apart from the first album which I think is pretty damn good, but I heard this on a listening post in Virgin Records and wow, it really did it for me. As someone who doesn't own their complete catalogue it's hard for me to compare this to their other albums but as an individual piece of work it's really really good. To me it is a nice blend of melodic rock/AOR that is well written and well played. Gary Hughes voice is perfect for this type of music and the musicianship is first class. Some good rockers and good ballads give the album a good blend of sound without making it feel disjointed.
Don't you just love it when a new album really surprises you???? Highly recommended.

29/08/04: Max - metaxlica@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
Because of Melodicrock.com I became, amongst many more bands, a fan of Ten and have all their stuff, although Is till need to listen to Don't Say Goodbye. This new one is pretty good, but not as instant as Far Beyond the World (maybe because I heard that one first through headphones). The choruses are great as usual and Gary's vocals and lyrics are superb, also as usual. 'Tearing my Heart Out' is a very good melodic modern rocker, but when they sing the hook line, they sound like Backstreet boys. That said, the song rips, and the acoustic guitar arpeggio at the end is fantastic. 'The One' is also something a little different for Ten, more pop-ier somehow. It is a varied album I think, but one more ballad would have been better, especially since Gary's ballads are usually of high quality. I got the Korean verison of the album and the bonus track, 'It's you I adore' is a somehow symphonic ballad, with violin, bass and Gary's vocal. Somehow it sounds like a Nightwish ballad, of course without the operatic female vocals. Maybe iut woulkd have been cool for this oen to be included in the European version, to put one more ballad there. But overall, the album is very good at first listen, with a couple of AOR tracks, a couple heavier tracks, mid-tempo fair and the ballads. I guess it will become better with further listenings.

21/08/04: Ian - Watsoni10@aol .com
Rating: 90
This is a Ten CD,pure and simple.Slightly more AOR than previous releases,it still oozes class and quality.ENJOY......

18/08/04: guillermo - guillerperez@usuariosretecal.es
Rating: 100
poco importa su progresivismo y el que en algunos temas no aporten nada nuevo a lo ya hecho Gary Hughes es un genio y lo demuestra en cada uno de los temas del album. Este album les coloca a un paso de la cima del rock melodico tan solo por detras de Bon Jovi.

07/08/04: Jonny B - froloth@hotmail.com
Rating: 69
I think Ten peaked out with "Babylon." "Far Beyond the World" was ok, but "Return to Evermore" sounds like the beginning of a downward spiral. Songs sound uninspired and rehashed. At times, I could swear that I could transfer lyrics from Gary Hughes "Once and Future King" onto songs in RtE and wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Also, the album length is a little too long considering the songs portrayed. They really MISS Vinny Burn's songwriting skills right now, who continues to write memorable material. To conclude, it's no wonder why they're no longer on Frontiers Records. Save your money for better releases.

06/08/04: Freddy De Keyzer - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 85
This is a very good Ten record, especially because it's a lot more AOR-ish than their latest releases ! The songs are as always O.K., just as the music and the production !
Nice surprise, good AOR record !

05/08/04: Roger B. - rogerbaldwin2168@tiscali.co.uk
Rating: 40
I found this album very disappointing,the main reason being a total lack of memorable songs with strong choruses, sounds like the band were just going through the motions.I didnt like the production/mix either,for me this album has no energy or power.Disappointment of the year so far for me from a band that has and can do so much better.

27/07/04: Terry - teraider@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
I was introduced to Ten shortly after the release of 'FBTW'. I read Andrew's review of the album and thought I would give Ten a try. Ten has been my favorite band ever since. Strong songs, great guitars, huge coruses. This is a very good AOR album. Gary is not the greatest vocalist, but he is very good. The songs fit his voice perfectly. It is closer to the first three Ten albums, but with better production. I absolutely love this album and highly recommend it (as well as all the Ten albums).

19/07/04: Horacio - duchiver@msn.com
Rating: 75
Man, I have only listened to this album while driving in my car this weekend to the beach and I gotta say that I have enjoyed it. I still think Spellbound is their best stuff so far but with Return to Evermore, Ten gives us what I think we´re waiting from them: a good blast of melodic english metal full of good melodies and amazing metaphors about love.

10/07/04: Almir - almirfus@terra.com.br
Rating: 90
In the 70's it was Elton John and ELO.
In the 80's Toto.
In the 90's I was orphan and then came the 2000's and Ten took it over, at least for me. I'm a great great Ten fan and Babylon IMHO is the best album of my collection.
I was a little dissapointed when I first heard Return to Evermore but (like always), after 2 or 3 weeks, sounds a lot better, especially if you listen with your headphone and pay attention to all the sounds and choruses and details that Gary build on each and every song. "Apparition" and "Dreamtide" works perfectly together. Both ballads are great, "Strangers in the Night" is a strong one, "Temple of Love" is catchy as hell, "Even the Ghosts Cry" is melodic as hell and unlike Andrew's review, "Evil on the Top of the World" is one of my favorites of the CD.
But(and this is a big "but"), something is missing. And is the rockier tunes. Don't expect nothing like "High Tide", "Black Shadows" or "Thunder in Heaven". Nothing as heavy as "Barricade" and so on.
It is a great album indeed, but the lack of heavier tunes makes you missing those days when everybody was complaining about guitars overshadowing Gary's voice in Babylon.
I would say that RtE is a little bit bellow Far Beyond the World, but better than Spellbound. Pay attention to the production and you'll see how good this guys became.
But, nonetheless, a classic and thank God for that!

07/07/04: Mark Kennedy - Clareandmark@freenetname.co.uk
Rating: 85
Where should I start ?.I'm not sure and that's the problem!.Don't get me wrong this is a good album,but it doesn't quite feed my hunger.The songs themselves are very good,but I can't seem to seperate each song.I thought 'Apparation' was going to be a right mother of a rocker,which it could have been if it was abit heavier like 'The Robe','Name of..','Lamb to the slaughter'(you get the idea!!).It's a great tune but it could have so much better and rockier(with a ripping solo that I can hear).Anyway to sum it up this is a great AOR Ten album ,however I wish the more rockier tracks had been abit heavier so that they'd stood out more from the rest of the album.'Dreamtide','Strangers in the Night'and 'The One' are my personal favourites.My only complaint as such is that the guitar solos are very quite and should have been alot more prominent.The music of the ryhthm guitar( or whatever is being played at the time of the solo) over shadows the lead guitar.All this aside this is still definetly worthy of of your attention and I should imagine it will sound fantastic live.

06/07/04: wiljan - jambek@hotmail.com
Rating: 7
MMMM, i really don't get in the groove with this album, i love BABYLON and Spellbound and NAME OF THE ROSE but this doesn't really get's me going.
There are a few fillers on this album and that's a pitty.
No songs like, RED, WE RULE THE NIGHT, SILENT RAIn etc.
Though the songs are oke, and i love DREAMTIDE & EVERMORE but the rest i don't know.
Maybe a few more listenings will work!!


06/07/04: ij001h3345@blueyonder.co.uk - ian_752@msn.com
Rating: 90
Love him or hate him Gary hughes , can turn out a tune . The new album for me harks back to the Ten of old pinching bits from The Robe & the debut while giving the whole sound a much needed kick up the backside. The opening salvo of Apparition,Dreamtide & title track Evermore [ complete with it's Celtic feel] show that Mr Hughes hasn't lost it in fact he seems to have not only found that x- factor again but improved on it. Special mention to new boy ? Chris Francis & John Haliwell who do a magnificent job [ Vinny who? ] .Their best in years .


ADD YOUR OWN REVIEW! (Ratings out of 100)
Name:

E-mail:

Rating:

Comment: