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  TEN
'Heresy And Creed'
(Frontiers) Release Date: 19th October 2012


Phil Kane

phil kane



ten heresy and creed

Over the years Ten's studio output could charitably be described as patchy. This inconsistency seems to have had a bit of a detrimental effect with many likely to approach tenth album 'Heresy And Creed' with a bit of caution, if they approach it at all.

Does this album deserve such treatment? No, it does not. AOR/melodic rock it may be but by God, does it clatter out of the speakers.

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Gary Hughes could be argued to be one of the greatest British AOR songwriters of all time. He has certainly done a bang up job on 'Heresy And Creed' with songs that have drama and clout.

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He said in a recent interview that "It is a particularly strong selection of material. I feel this is possibly our most mature, and diverse collection of songs ever. There is literally something in there for everyone and every taste". Y'all got that right Gary.

It helps that he's got a hell of a band around him with John Halliwell and Dan Mitchel on guitars, Steve McKenna thumping the bass, Darrel Treece-Birch tinkling ivories and Max Yates on drums and let's not forget producer Dennis Ward. It's a combination that brings Hughes' stuff to life, throwing up some interesting angles in the process.

There is 'Ravens Eye' for instance, with its use of the old English air of 'Scarborough Fair'. The album's instrumental intro 'The Gates Of Jerusalem' is another example, though why they didn't use ethnic orchestrations here is mystifying as the synth generated ersatz Arabian atmospheric is unimaginative and a bit underwhelming.

Elsewhere 'Gunrunning', 'Right Now' and 'The Priestess' give the album a groovy funk that counterpoints the more standard stuff on here. They are about as stompy as this otherwise steady platter gets.

But you want good solid AOR, right?

Alright, try 'Insatiable' on for size, or 'The Lights Go Down', 'Game Of Hearts' and the heavier 'Arabian Nights'. If your taste prefers a lighter, catchy groove, try 'Another Rainy Day' or the crunchy 'The Lights Go Down'.

Mercifully, the lighter waving ballads have been kept to a minimum with 'The Last Chance' and 'The Riddle'. Always a bonus when so many albums of this ilk are smothered in maudlin bollocks. Perhaps Hughes has opted to keep the schmaltz for that future solo project of ballads he's been threatening to lumber us with.

Some have hailed this album as a true classic; a groundbreaking, monumental album in more ways than one. Er, no it isn't; that's already been done and 'Heresy And Creed' does have its faults.

Like most AOR its sound remains embedded in the glory days of the eighties. Oh, it has the now familiar modern clunk and ideas and when the three guitar line up lets rip it is pretty powerful stuff but it has not the muscle, nor perhaps the will, to pull free of the genre's past.

There are occasions where the album sounds slightly underpowered and some of the material would have benefited hugely from the application of a proper orchestra. So yes, it is very, very good but let's not get carried away with ourselves because it certainly cannot be described as the second coming.

'Heresy And Creed' avoids AOR's notorious candy floss bear trap and it pricks curiosity and captures interest with the quality of the songs, arrangements and musicianship. Add a beefy production job to die for and you have the sort of excellent AOR album that Dare threatened, but never actually made.

Will 'Heresy And Creed' see Ten recapture the higher ground in peoples considered estimations? Perhaps not but it deserves to be regarded as one of the best, if not the best album Ten has put out in years and with the band's three guitar attack, it should sound bloody immense live.

★★★★☆


8.10.12




WACKEN WINTER NIGHTS IS HEAVY METAL WONDERLAND

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.

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Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.



Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.

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MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.

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Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.

WACKEN 2018 TRAVEL PACKAGE ENQUIRY

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