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Ten: Illuminati
Ten - Illumanati Music Review

Ten: Illuminati

Melodic Hard Rock
4.0/5.0

Some eight years ago Gary Hughes and Ten returned from a short self-imposed hiatus and they have never looked back. In this same period of time the band has released six studio albums, often back to back in years, including the latest Illuminati. Needless to say, they're in a strong songwriting groove and fans have been appreciating every album.

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Ten

Not to diminish this latest offering, but Illuminati is both typical and essential Ten music. Their successful melodic hard rock formula is self-evident once more. One musical chemical is Hughes' smooth and strong voice, vocal arrangements, and lyrical hooks. Essentially, this means that you can expect most every Ten song to turn on a combination of the vocal arrangements and the catchy refrains. Another element is a multi-faceted one: Ten's deft song arrangements. The song composition brings out all instruments and players, like twin guitar harmony and fiery leads, Darrel Treece-Birch's keyboard magic including symphonic embellishment, and simply an emphasis upon harmony and melody, and rhythm and groove. Then add some of their historical and mythical themes, such as The Illuminati conspiracy, and what you expect from Ten is what you get. So on to song highlights then.

With Be As You Are Forever and Shield Wall, you'll find further examples of Ten's symphonic melodic rock. The former song's opening is rather epic in scale with Birch's symphonic synths complimented by bold drums. With the latter, the symphonic angle is more subdued within a typical Ten rocker. Rockers also arrive with Jericho and Illuminati, both of which have a notable piano line to form the melody. With Of Battles Lost And Won, you'll find Hughes in tandem with piano for a mildly symphonic, yet steady rock tune. For some aongs a bit on the more mellow side, listen for melodic rock anthems in The Esoteric Ocean and Rosetta Stone. With both songs, the twin elements of vocal arrangement and synth embellishment are predominant, but not exclusive to a typical Ten musically multi-elemental rock song.

In the end, as said earlier, you will find Illuminati to be both typical and quintessential Ten: well-composed, catchy, and entertaining symphonic melodic hard rock. Recommended. Nuff said.


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The Bottom Line

You will find Illuminati to be both typical and quintessential Ten, creating well-composed, catchy, and entertaining symphonic melodic hard rock. Recommended. You won't be disappointed. Nuff said.

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