Isla De Muerta

Ten - Isla De Muerta

Gary Hughes
Gary Hughes

Back in 1995, British rock singer / songwriter Gary Hughes was preparing material for what was to be his third solo album. Having amassed twenty eight new songs it was decided to make two records and split the material into a “heavy” album and a “ballad” album.

Vinny Burns
Vinny Burns

Ex-Dare guitarist Vinny Burns was enlisted to work on the albums, and the project developed into a band situation which was christened Ten. Burns remained a member of the band until after the release of sixth album “Far Beyond The World” in 2001.

Johnny Halliwell
Johnny Halliwell

Returning to the beginning, the band’s debut album “X” was released in 1996. Then, starting with the band’s second album release of 1996 “The Name Of The Rose”, which saw the introduction of rhythm guitarist Johnny Halliwell, and continuing up until 2007 when the band was put on hiatus, a changing band line-up had produced a further seven studio albums.

Steve McKenna
Steve McKenna

In addition Hughes himself had released four more solo albums as well as contributing all the material for, and producing, three solo albums for Magnum’s frontman Bob Catley.

The band returned in late 2010 and released “Stormwarning” the following year. The band included Hughes, Burns, Halliwell and bassist Steve McKenna. McKenna’s first studio appearance had been on 1999’s “Spellbound”.

Darrel Treece-Birch
Darrel Treece-Birch

Keyboardist Darrel Treece-Birch and drummer Max Yates were on board by album number ten, “Heresy And Creed”, which appeared in 2012.

Last year new lead guitarists Dann Rosingana and Steve Grocott appeared on the excellent and well received “Albion”. It is the line-up of Hughes, Halliwell, McKenna, Treece-Birch, Yates, Rosingana and Grocott that have produced the follow-up, “Isla De Muerta”, released in May 2015 – just six months after the release of “Albion”.

Max Yates
Max Yates

The album starts with an instrumental, “Buccaneers”, which leads directly into “Dead Men Tell No Tales”. Instantly the music and lyrics conjure up images of pirates and the sea, which is fitting as the album’s title is a reference to the island of the dead from pirate folklore.

Dann Rosingana
Dann Rosingana

As usual, all music and lyrics are penned by Hughes – and fit within his overall style perfectly. The man doesn’t do mediocre or average – his songs are always very good and generally have a catchy melodic chorus regardless of how heavy the guitar riffs may be – or may not be, let’s not overlook Hughes’ love of a good old-fashioned ballad, here represented by “This Love”.

Steve Grocott
Steve Grocott

Overall, though, this is a heavy melodic rock album, full of great hard rock guitar solos to compliment all the harmony and melodies.

My personal highlights at this stage are “Karnak” / “The Valley Of The Kings”, “The Last Pretender”, “The Dragon And Saint George” and “Acquiesce”, but that will probably change as I listen to the record more over time.

Ten - Albion
Ten – Albion

“Albion” was a truly excellent melodic hard rock album, and one of Ten’s best. I have to say that it also sports one of my favourite Ten album covers, but in musical terms – both the songs and the individual performances captured – “Isla De Muerta” may have just topped it…

Ten
Ten

“Isla De Muerta” tracklist:

1. Buccaneers / Dead Men Tell No Tales / 2. Tell Me What To Do / 3. Acquiesce / 4. This Love / 5. The Dragon And Saint George / 6. Intensify / 7. Karnak / The Valley Of The Kings / 8. Revolution / 9. Angel Of Darkness / 10. The Last Pretender / 11. We Can Be As One

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s