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Ten - Gothica album review

The best Melodic Rock you can get this month

Cover art for Ten - Gothica album

It’s been a busy couple of years for British hard rockers Ten, who in 2015 released their twelfth album, the buccaneering Isla De Muerta, and quickly followed it with a seven-song EP.

Now returned to their former label Frontiers, frontman Gary Hughes and his six-piece instrumental group deliver their third album with this line-up. Gothica was produced by Hughes, and mixed and mastered once again by the man of the moment, Dennis Ward.

Perhaps best encapsulated by the track Travellers, its depth and scope are amazing, the band’s usual palette of colours stretched to somewhat darker hues, though without sacrificing musical identity, nor their storytelling element.

Explaining that its contents dwell upon history, romance and erotic horror, Hughes has called the album “a little more sinister”. From the Henry VIII-themed A Man For All Seasons to Welcome To The Freakshow’s fetishism and the vampiricLa Luna Dra-Cu-La, this album stimulates the ol’ grey matter as well as entertaining, while refusing to be bogged down by bookish stuffiness.

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.