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TEN - 'The Dragon And Saint George' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/b7/30/2f/ten-the-dragon-and-saint-george-88-1445111496.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 17, 2015    
 
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Those merry men aboard the flagship of British Melodic Hard Rock are back again!

You wait patiently for what seems like an eternity... and not a single appearance; then, with little fanfare... Ten come along! Yes, those merry men aboard the flagship of British Melodic Hard Rock are back again. This time, it's to mark/celebrate their impressive 20th anniversary, and to pin their patriotic colours firmly to the mast with their first EP since 1999's 'Fear The Force'. 'The Dragon And Saint George' comes hot on the heels of the impressive 'Isla De Muerta', and 2014's 'Albion'; an album that many said was a true return to form for Gary Hughes and company. The EP (adorned with yet more stunning artwork by Gaetano Di Falco) features three brand new refrains alongside another three that fans should be well acquainted with by now.

Quite rightly, the eponymous track kick-starts the opus in fine fashion. If you're not already familiar with it, then it goes without saying that it's quintessential Hughes fayre; mesmeric melodies, hooks and a totally addictive chorus with lyrics that stay loyal and true to the legend. 'Musketeers: Soldiers Of The King' follows in similar fashion, and immediately intimates that the new songs on display here are not throw-away's. Its galloping tempo is a joy to behold whilst the keys provide a cinematic foundation for guitarists Dann Rosingana and Steve Grocott to simultaneously weave their fret-tastic magic, whilst mainstay axe-man John Halliwell provides the rhythmic glue that binds everything together. 'Prodigal Saviour' slows things down a modicum, and is pure AOR, reminiscent of the 1996 debut; its mid-tempo melody, catchy bridge and chorus takes a few spins to hit home, but those ever-present earworms soon pounce; Hughes' vocals just keep getting better with each release.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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It's rare that we are invited to share in Hughes' personal observations of the world we live in, but 'Is There Anyone With Sense...' allows us that privilege. Carried by a pulsating melody and staccato riffing, he reminds us of recent and past worldly atrocities and how we as residents of this planet should take responsibility. Next up is 'Albion Born', and if you've never heard it, you're in for a treat – this song should be the anthem for The Global Camp Fire Society (if there's such a thing!!). This slow burner that builds from haunting vocal histrionics to a patriotic crescendo of awesome musicianship has already staked its place in the pantheon of Ten epics. 'We Can Be As One' brings the EP thoroughly entertaining conclusion; it's classic Hughes balladry of the highest order, supported beautifully by a melancholy keyboard accompaniment, and a short but succinct guitar break; Perfection.

'The Dragon And Saint George' captures a special moment in the Ten's history. Since its inception there have been innumerable highs and lows; but what must be commended is the musical output Ten have bestowed upon us – so many magical songs with captivating lyrical content that can never be extinguished. Thank you and 'Happy Anniversary'!!!

Dave Crompton

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