Ten - Heresy & Creed

Heresy & Creed
Frontiers Records
Ten are one of the better British melodic rock bands and they are now well into the second decade of their existence. Not only that but with “Heresy & Creed” they have reached the tenth album mark! The tenth Ten, then, inn it?! Gary Hughes, may have lost his golden locks, but at least he now shaved all his hair off - so now he looks quite aerodynamic and cool and not in between - which is worse - and can finally adapt the excellent Al Bundy motto: “What’s bald in the head is good in the bed”!!! Not bad! Now, seriously though, hair notwithstanding, the guy has lost none of his charm or vocal prowess and there’s a lot of re-claimed self confidence in most of his performances on this album.
But hey, let’s check out the album, shan’t we?
“The Gates of Jerusalem” is a short “eastern” flavored intro that leads directly into…
The very epic and amazing “Arabian Knights” that easily challenges whatever that band has done in the past from a compositional standpoint and even recalls of their most epic “Robe/Spellbound” days. The only bleak thing, I can think of, is the mix, which seems to be rather THIN, with normally played but triggered drums and generally a murky quality. It must be either a budget, issue, or something to do with the drums, ‘cause this very band, sounded truly spectacular on its previous album.
“Gunrunning” is a sexy and smooth tune, about the “danger” of loving. Making a weird parallelism – as if loving someone is as dangerous and illegal, as trafficking arms. Well, as people get hurt, most of the times, I guess, Gary, ain’t too far wide off the mark.
“The Lights Go Down” sounds more pompous and while it has tons of guitars it’s VERY melodic and once it envelops you, in its rhythm, you’re sold.
“Raven’s Eye” is a lot heavier and slower and has a weird Celtic element running through it. Oh and some amazing solos as well.
“Right Now” ain’t a Van Hagar cover, but it’s a nice melodic mid tempo nugget, with frequent rises!
“Game of Hearts” is another truly SEXY nasty, sweating and lustful metaphorical round of (strip?) poker! No not really, but again, you get a really rhythmical, pulsating and thrusting track, about lovers and making love and all the dangers and the strangers...
“The Last Time” slows things down, and has some really poetic lyrics...
“The Priestess” is well, at the very least tantalizing and titillating in the way in which it uses the term... it’s about a mistress actually... and truth be spoken, it tends to plod a bit...
“Insatiable” is another lustful rocker, that’s not too bad, in its central concept and melody, but is not an essential track either.
“Another Rainy Day” is a very up-tempo separation song… to the point it’s ODD... especially with all the happy piano’s that are for some reason very reminiscent of Queen and/or Magnum (but I can’t quite place my finger on it right now) but it’s nice !
“Unbelievable” storms across, and while it builds and builds and builds its chorus is a bit of a letdown! I understand the need for a fast tune, for reasons of pacing, but this one’s not great…
“The Riddle” is a very melodic and sweeping ballad, but, its keys are mixed absolutely horrendously on TOP of everything else - why - I can’t begin to try and understand, it’s particularly obvious that it doesn’t sound quite right... ugh, well... it’s still a nice song - but...
Overall, a rather strong album, that would, have been a little tighter, had it omitted a couple of rather too long winded and boring tunes. Not as bad as some reviews would have you believe, not as good as some others, who kiss a$$es, for a living, would like you to believe either. It sits somewhere in the middle, a couple of notches inferior to the superb “Stormwarning” and lacking in the mix and mastering departments, mysteriously so. If it was a little leaner and a little better produced, it would have been a killer! Now it’s maybe just, a lady-killer! He-he!