Isla De Muerta

01. Buccaneers - Dead Men Tell No Tales
02. Tell Me What To Do
03. Acquiesce
04. This Love
05. The Dragon And Saint George
06. Intensify
07. Karnak - The Valley Of The Kings
08. Revolution
09. Angel Of Darkness
10. The Last Pretender
11. We Can Be As One (European Bonus)

Gary Hughes – Vocals
Dann Rosingana – Guitars
Steve Grocott – Guitars
John Halliwell – Guitars
Steve Mckenna – Bass
Darrel Treece-Birch – Keyboards
Max Yates – Drums

X (1996)
The Name of the Rose (1996)
The Name of the Rose EP (1996)
The Robe (1997)
The Robe EP (1997)
You're In My Heart EP (1997)
Spellbound (1999)
Fear the Force EP (1999)
Babylon (2000)
Far Beyond the World (2001)
Return to Evermore (2004)
The Twilight Chronicles (2006)
Stormwarning (2011)
Heresy and Creed (2012)

Albion (2014)


Produced by Gary Hughes
Mixed and Mastered By Dennis Ward
Album cover illustrated by Gaetano Di Falco

Released 2015-05-20
Reviewed 2015-05-19



Ten makes it a dozen with Isla De Muerta, the fourth album by Ten that we review here at Hallowed. Gary Hughes and his companions made a rather pale album in last year’s Albion, but this one already looks more promising just by looking at the cover art, which is always something this band spends much time to get right for their albums. It is a lot more interesting artwork than the last time around, but what about the musical side of things? Have they stepped things up again? Or do we get the same bland stuff as last time around.

Musically it is business as usual for Ten, melodic rock music with catchy choruses, dramatic keyboards and all of those things. I have already written many words about how this band sounds and if you are more curious there are some more reviews to read about that. It sounds kind of like Ten usually does, Hughes has a fairly classic rock voice and the catchiness is quite staggering. The album is a bit on the long side with over one hour of music, but the variation is pretty good and there is a fair bit of depth in this album – it is still a little bit long. Fans of the band, the genre, AOR or whatever will however probably find it agreeable despite them not killing enough darlings, I would like to see some more murdering the next time.

The album is very good, I really like it as all the songs are good and the feel of the album is excellent – so is the sound and the production. Gary Hughes does a very good work with his writing and singing. But still, even though it kicks the ass of its predecessor it is still too long and could have done without two or three songs and I know which one I can do without, Intensify, This Love and Tell Me What To Do are all good songs but they don’t stack up to the rest of the material. Less is more is a phrase I think Gary really need to learn as all of his albums tend to be quite long and long albums make good songs feel less good and that is a bit of a problem for this album. Not a major one though as it may seem as there are quite many words to describe it but as all the songs are good and the feeling of the album is very solid I really the album despite its obvious weakness.

Three of the songs on this album are really excellent, Acquiesce, The Dragon and Saint George and Valley of the Kings are absolutely brilliant and in the end I think I can recommend that anyone into genres like AOR, melodic rock/hardrock, or fans of Ten. I think they show that they are back after a daft release last year and now they show what they can really do, actually it was a little bit of a positive surprise that this album was so good and I can only conclude that Ten are back to doing what they do really well. Isla De Muerta is definitely an album that you should have a closer look at – I really like it.



Label: Rocktopia Records
Three similar bands: Rainbow/W.E.T./Gary Hughes

Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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