Released 18th February 2011 on Frontiers Records
UK melodic hard rockers Ten return after an exile from the scene. Led by vocalist and principle songwriter Gary Hughes, the man back in the day had a knack of penning some good melodic hard rock and some classic Magnum-esque solo albums for Bob Catley. So now back from the dead Ten are back with a new line up and ten new tracks of which only one clocks in under the 5 minute mark on the new album “Stormwarning”.
Marketed as the perfect amalgamation of ‘Down To Earth’ era Rainbow, ‘1987’ era Whitesnake and ‘Run For Cover’ era Gary Moore is one bold claim, and sadly one that is never lived up to. Most of the tracks are all likeable enough, but there is nothing that stands out as anything better than acceptable. The similar tempos of each track suggest Hughes’ metronome has gone on the blink which does make the album drag somewhat as well. Granted the band are giving it all a good go but the album lacks some dazzle, there is an all round lacking of energy, a stiff production also doesn’t help which is surprising for a Dennis Ward effort. Gary Hughes’ vocals haven’t aged too badly over time, a little of their earlier power has gone and they do seem a little more monotonous than in years gone by but again nothing to really complain about.
The only time the album really get going is for the title track which is the highlight of the album and home to a strong chorus and a little more energy than other tracks. Elsewhere it’s a case of likeable but ultimately quite faceless material.
Ultimately this is not the return to action that was hoped for, whether this can win over more fans than the band had in their heyday (which was presumably not enough to keep them going?) will remain to be seen but “Stormwarning” is never anything more than a quite average melodic hard rock album.
Rating – 60%