TEN

Hard Rock • United Kingdom
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Formation (1994-1995)

After the release of his first two successful solo albums, British vocalist/songwriter Gary Hughes was making the preparations to begin recording what was to be his next solo album. It was not long before the idea of a single album was scratched since Gary Hughes, ended up recording 28 songs that were to be divided into two albums - one containing the heavier material, and one that would contain the ballads. The initial idea was to mix the album in the USA, so famous guitarists were considered for the guitarist position, like Doug Aldrich, Lanny Cordola and Ralph Santolla. However, when it was decided to lay down the guitar parts in England the name of the guitarist Vinny Burns (Dare, Ultravox) was brought up. Given the fact that Mike Stone was assigned to mix the albums, the Hughes/Burns project evolved into a band situation, marking the first official incarnation
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Thanks to Time Signature for the addition and stephen, kev rowland, tupan for the updates

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TEN Discography

TEN albums / top albums

TEN Ten album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Ten
Hard Rock 1996
TEN The Name of the Rose album cover 4.33 | 3 ratings
The Name of the Rose
Hard Rock 1996
TEN The Robe album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
The Robe
Hard Rock 1997
TEN Spellbound album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Spellbound
Hard Rock 1999
TEN Babylon album cover 3.13 | 6 ratings
Babylon
Hard Rock 2000
TEN Far Beyond the World album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Far Beyond the World
Hard Rock 2001
TEN Return to Evermore album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Return to Evermore
Hard Rock 2004
TEN The Twilight Chronicles album cover 3.83 | 3 ratings
The Twilight Chronicles
Hard Rock 2006
TEN Stormwarning album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
Stormwarning
Hard Rock 2011
TEN Heresy And Creed album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Heresy And Creed
Hard Rock 2012
TEN Albion album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Albion
Hard Rock 2014
TEN Isla de Muerta album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Isla de Muerta
Hard Rock 2015
TEN Gothica album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Gothica
Hard Rock 2017
TEN Illuminati album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Illuminati
Hard Rock 2018

TEN EPs & splits

TEN The Dragon And Saint George album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Dragon And Saint George
Hard Rock 2015

TEN live albums

TEN Never Say Goodbye album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Never Say Goodbye
Hard Rock 1998

TEN demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

TEN re-issues & compilations

TEN Essential Collection 1995-2005 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Essential Collection 1995-2005
Hard Rock 2005

TEN singles (0)

TEN movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

TEN Reviews

TEN Illuminati

Album · 2018 · Hard Rock
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Kev Rowland
2018 see the band back with their second consecutive album with Frontiers, the fourth with the same line-up, and their fourteenth overall. Straight away one is reminded of ‘Isla De Muerta’ as the album starts with cinematic sounds (this time of birds), before Darrel starts off with keyboards and piano to set the scene. As the refrain is repeated the acoustic guitars make an entrance, and the listener starts to settle down for what is surely going to be an interesting ride. The band are confident enough to let the music move and swell, there is no need to start with a massive roar, but instead to build the framework in readiness for what is to come. The introduction lasts for more than two minutes, before the arrival of the drums lets the listener know that the band is about to change attack and in come the three guitarists. They interweave, mix and move, again setting the stage for Gary. But, from the beginning of the first song on the album until the vocals make an entrance is more than three minutes, quite some time for any band.

When the guys turn it up and go for gold, then they really elevate the music to a new level. There are some blistering shreds on “Shield Wall” that Malmsteen would be proud of, yet there is still restraint within the piece as a whole, which makes it work far better than if it was just heads on and meet up at the end. Gary seems to be holding notes for longer, while musically there is a lot of complexity in what is being delivered. The band can go from hard rock onslaught to piano and keyboards and make the transition seamless, and aren’t afraid to bring in female vocals if that is what is required, or sound effects if that is what is required. Dennis Ward continues to provide superb production, as he has done so since 2011’s ‘Stormwarning’, while the arrangements left Ten far above many of their contemporaries. This is hard rock with substance and real melody, much more than just turning it up and blasting it out, and while they will appeal to fans of AOR, this has way more depth and contrast than one would expect from that genre. Ten continue to deliver melodic hard rock albums of the highest order, well worth investigation.

TEN Gothica

Album · 2017 · Hard Rock
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Kev Rowland
2017 saw Ten back with their thirteenth studio album, and the third with the same line-up. It also saw their return to Frontiers Music, and straight from the off it was obvious that the band again really means business. Their hard rock pomp swagger has seen them compared with the likes of Magnum over the years, but that really isn’t a fair comparison at all. I am a huge fan of Magnum, having first purchased some of their music more than 40 years ago, and seeing them live multiple times (including the Storyteller’s Night tour), but to be honest Magnum have never managed the sheer presence and power that is obvious in all of Ten’s albums. Mind you, Bob Catley did play the part of Merlin on Gary’s superb ‘Once and Future King’ albums so does have a small part in their history.

This is a hard rock band who are all about playing to everyone’s strengths, and ensuring the music is always there to support Gary’s vocals. There may be three guitars, but there are times when the bass is mixed above all of them, while Darrel’s contributions on keyboards can never be overstated. His innate sense of melody and style is always apparent, and even on this album where he seems to take more of a back seat than on ‘Isle De Muerta’, his contributions add real polish and finesse (if you haven’t heard his solo work, or with the prog band Nth Ascension, then you should seek them out as well).

Since Ten first burst onto the melodic hard rock scene with their debut ‘X’ back in 1996, I have been a fan. There have been quite a few line-up changes since then, but Gary has always been at the vocal helm, steering the good ship where it needs to go, and with a highly settled line-up they continue to deliver wonderful albums. Well worth investigating for any fan of the genre.

TEN Isla de Muerta

Album · 2015 · Hard Rock
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Kev Rowland
Quickly following on from the success of 2014’s ‘Albion’, Ten returned the following year with ‘Isla De Muerta’, again with the three-guitar line-up. When I saw the artwork, and then heard the storm crashing the waves on the rocks followed by Darrell Treece-Birch providing us with a Celtic/Pirate shanty I wasn’t too sure if Ten had moved into the world of Pirate rock, especially when the guitars started providing support (special mention must also be made of the highly emotive drumming which accompanies this). Soon this is back to just Darrell and flowing melodic keyboards, until Gary makes an entrance with his powerful vocals, and gradually this turns into much more of a rocker. Straight from the off there was the impression that this was quite a different album from Ten in many ways, with DTB having a more prominent role to play.

Songs like “Tell Me What To Do” show Ten at their majestic best, with Gary accompanied for the first verse just with keyboards and drums until again they bring in the guitars and turn it into a hard rock masterclass. The chorus has gentle harmony vocals, but what lifts it is the way the DTB mimics Gary’s lead vocal, but in a higher register. This is class, sheer class. There are some great guitar solos on this album, but what makes this work so well is the way the whole band are pulling together in the same direction. I have loved Gary’s vocals for twenty years or more, and this line-up of Ten is incredibly consistent with arrangements that show the depth in strength. It never comes across as a three guitar line-up, but one where guitars are important yet it needs the foundation of a superb rhythm section and a keyboard player who is far more upfront and leading the melody than is normally expected in a hard rock band. Ten work best when they are either powering strongly ahead at pace, or are emotional and reserved, and there are plenty of both of those elements here. This is probably my favourite album of theirs so far.



TEN Albion

Album · 2014 · Hard Rock
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Kev Rowland
2014 saw the band back with their eleventh studio album, and in the two years since ‘Heresy and Creed’ there had been some changes in the guitarists, with Dan Mitchell leaving due to health problems related to his wrist and arm, being replaced by Dann Rosingana and Steve Grocott (yes, the band now had three guitarists). One might think with an over exuberance of six stringers that the band would turn into a heavier direction, but that is never likely happen all the time that Gary is at the helm and here is an album that is the direct sequel to what had gone previously.

Ten do have a formula, but there again so do many other bands – one knows exactly what one is going to get when buying an album by Ten, and they deliver time and again. Gary is a superb singer, but what makes Ten such a great band is the combination of all the musicians coming together as a complete unit. There are some great guitar licks, some wonderful elements added by the keyboards, times when the bass is up the front, and the drums are driving it all along, and it is all of this combined with the vocals that make them such a force to be reckoned with.

Back in the Nineties I was very involved with the melodic rock underground, albeit not nearly as much as I was with prog, but these days have lost touch (doesn’t help that I am now on the other side of the world as well). Consequently I don’t know what the buzz is around Ten at present, but to my ears they are still one of the very finest exponents of melodic hard rock around, and long may it stay that way. The songs are strong, the music really does rock, it is always melodic and full of hooks, the production is spot on, and the vocals are harmonious and powerful without ever being turned into parodies of the genre. It has taken me some years to rediscover Ten, and my musical world is all the better for it. www.tenofficial.com

TEN Heresy And Creed

Album · 2012 · Hard Rock
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Kev Rowland
Back in the Nineties, one of the bands that were a real find for me were Ten, with their distinctive singer Gary Hughes. Alongside guitarist Vinny Burns they crafted one wonderful bombastic hard rock album after another, with Gary taking time out to record two wonderful solo albums (‘The Once and Future King’). But, for one reason or another I lost touch with the band and what they were doing. Fast forward a few years and one night when I was noodling around the web I came across an album by Darrel Treece-Birch, which I really enjoyed, and a review later we were in touch with each other.

This led me to discovering that Darrel was also keyboard player for Ten, having joined them in time for this 2012 album, so of course it only seemed right and proper to give it a listen and see what I thought. Having checked the personnel I could see that there had been quite a few changes, which isn’t surprising given the time which had elapsed, but as soon as I put it on I was immediately taken back in time, as Ten are still performing to the same incredibly high levels they always have. There is a strong foundation from the bass and drums which allows the twin guitars of Dan Mitchell and John Halliwell to pitch against, while Darrel either sits quietly in the background, providing the lead, or nuances as the music demands, and then there is Gary. Right from the very first time I heard his voice, some 20 plus years ago, I knew that here was a star, and he still is. For some reason he always makes me think of David Coverdale, even though vocally he doesn’t have a great deal in common, it is more the depth and breadth of his vocals. He can go up the octave when the time is right, but his vocals rely more on emotion and solidity.

Combine that with strong material and one couldn’t wish for much more – the production is superb, the artwork is great, with the only real thing wrong being that this is the sort of material that should have come out in the Seventies when polished rock like this would have rewarded the band with a retirement fund. As it is, released some 16 years after the debut, Ten are showing no sign whatsoever of slowing down. And is there any other group that does a power ballad quite like them? Piano, poignant guitars, multi-tracked vocals, great stuff.

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