After the success of 2017's Gothica, UK melodic hard rockers Ten are back with Illuminati, another great collection of songs that sees the current line-up working together on their fourth studio release in a row, and the synergy really shows. The members of Ten now include:
Gary Hughes (Vocals)
Dann Rosingana (Lead Guitars)
Steve Grocott (Lead Guitars)
John Halliwell (Rhythm Guitars)
Darrel Treece-Birch (Keyboards)
Steve McKenna (Bass)
Max Yates (Drums)
Led as always by the soaring pipes of Hughes, the band fire off plenty of crunchy riffs, sizzling solos, symphonic keyboards, and tight arrangements here on Illuminati, the hooks are plenty and the songs are rocking. "Be As You Are Forever" kicks things off in grand fashion, walls of keys and guitars supporting some fine melodies, while the more muscular "Shield Wall" once again displays how well this band can inject unforgettable hooks within a hard rock framework, and the dueling lead guitars are just dazzling. Some effective female backing vocals add a pop flair to the heavy prog of "The Esoteric Ocean", and the proggy side of the band actual reveals itself in many other spots on the album, including the engaging "Jericho", the Dream Theater inspired title track as well as "Mephistopheles", or the gorgeous "Heaven and Holier-Than-Thou". Hughes also likes his soaring ballads as well, so look for those passionate, emotional melodies on "Rosetta Stone" and the closing "Battles Lost and Won".
Overall, Illuminati is another winner from veteran act Ten, who continue to show their excellence at delivering stunning melodic hard rock now over 20 years into their existence, with no signs of slowing down one bit.
- Be As You Are Forever
- Shield Wall
- The Esoteric Ocean
- Rosetta Stone
- Heaven And The Holier-Than-Thou
- Of Battles Lost And Won