Ten – ‘Stormwarning’
Released through Frontiers Records in 2011
Gary Hughes - Vocals, Guitars, Backing Vocals
John Halliwell - Guitars, Acoustic Guitars
Neil Fraser - Guitars, Lead Guitars
Paul Hodson - Keyboards and Synthesizers, Programming
Mark Sumner - Bass Guitars
Mark Zonder: Drums and Percussion
1.) "Endless Symphony" – By itself the intro to this track is the length of a single song. The intro opens with I believe a four measure percussion arrangement that consists of a snare and tom-tom overdubs. Starting at the fifth measure a synthesizer begins with whole notes. On I believe the seventh measure a heavily Jonathan Cain (Journey) influenced keyboard arrangement starts. This keyboard pattern is very reminiscent to Journey’s “Send Her My Love” taken from their 1983 ‘Frontiers’ album. Underneath the keyboard there is a small string section playing the same arrangement as the keyboard. At the 1:14 mark the piano arrangement changes. This arrangement change has more of a classical piano feel to it. The orchestrated string arrangement also changes however instead of following along with the keyboard it switches to more of a fill-in rhythm. There is a small drum fill and drum rhythm change connecting the musical intro with the musical verse. At this point is when the electric guitar rhythm kicks-in. Underneath the electric guitar rhythm the keyboard switches rhythms to the same rhythm as the electric guitar. There is a rhythm change underneath the opening lyric line of the first verse. This section consisted of an acoustic guitar and keyboard playing the same rhythm. Gary’s vocals have a seventies small Neil Diamond sound to them. Underneath the ninth lyric line a backing vocal begins this backing vocal continues through the verse all the way up to the rhythm change of the chorus. There is a tom-tom fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus. Musically the second verse is a lot more intense sounding then the first. The keyboard arrangement underneath the second verse follows Gary’s lyric lines. After the third chorus there is a breakdown section. For the fifth chorus the band changes the backing harmony. Connecting each chorus with each verse there is a lead guitar solo. The last solo section is over top the coda. Every one of these solos could be considered a major solo within its own right.
2.) "Centre Of My Universe" – This track opens with a very simple picking electric guitar riff. I’m not sure however it sounds as if the last two notes of the riff where either double tracked or a second guitar all together. Underneath the third measure of the intro a synthesizer starts playing whole & half-notes. The musical intro was used as a musical base for the musical verse. What was added for the musical pre-verse was a drum & bass line underneath the guitar and synthesizer with a distorted guitar over the top. There is a twin minor lead guitar solo leading into the first lyric line. For the musical pre-verse Mark used a sixteenth-note hi-hat pattern. The snare is on the 2 & 4 each time Mark hits the four he opens the hi-hat. This not only shows great hand & foot control however also gives the musical verse a mean sound. There is a very short minor solo connecting the pre-verse with the verse. Since there was no rhythm change for the musical verse Gary double-tracked the vocal lines of the verse. There was a minor lead guitar solo connecting the verse with the chorus. There also is a musical change for the musical chorus. If it was not for a few lead guitar notes the first chorus would run into the second pre-verse. The song repeats itself up through the second chorus. After the second chorus there is a major lead guitar solo section. A few of the lead guitar solo notes where double-tracked.
3.) "Kingdom Come" – This intro opens with the keyboard and electric guitar playing the same arrangement. Every now and then you can hear an amplified acoustic bleeding through. Connecting the musical intro with the musical verse there is a minor lead guitar solo. The minor solo runs underneath the first lyric line of the first verse. The band used the same rhythm for the verse as the intro. Underneath the lyric lines of the verse the band added a small string arrangement. There is an arrangement change for the musical chorus. The way Gary wrote and arranged the musical and lyrical arrangements of the choruses gave them a huge hook. There is a minor lead guitar solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse. Underneath the second verse there are a couple lead licks. The second verse had a bigger hook than the first which made the hook of the second chorus even bigger. After the second chorus there is a major lead guitar solo. There is a minor lead guitar solo underneath the third chorus. The major lead guitar solo on this track had an amazing sound and was by far one of my favorites so far.
4.) "Book Of Secrets" – This track opens with several special effects that has an outdoors sound to it. The musical intro is basically a synthesizer effect. The opening musical verse consisted of a very simple musical arrangement. Over the top of musical verse Gary does a few vocal accents that are a cross between David Coverdale & Joe Lynn Turner. The vocal lines of the verse in sound and arrangement are very reminiscent of Joe Lynn Turner. The musical verse goes through a couple rhythm changes underneath Gary’s vocals. There is a musical change for the hook of the pre-chorus. Connecting the first, second & third lyric lines of the pre-chorus are little lead guitar runs. The chorus had a huge hook attached to it. I loved the way Gary and the guy wrote & arranged this track! The lead guitar solo connects the second chorus with the breakdown section. This solo consisted of two different solos back to back. Listening to the solo it is very obvious that the solo where played by two different people. However I have no clue who played what. The coda consisted of just a lyric line.
5.) "Stormwarning" – Over the top of this intro Gary sings vocal accents that follow along with the keyboard riffs. There is a small snare fill connecting the musical intro with the musical verse. The musical verse opens with a minor lead guitar solo as the solo progresses the guys add a second lead guitar making the minor solo a twin lead guitar solo. There is a small drum fill connecting these solos with the first lyric line. Underneath the first lyric line there is a sixteenth-note rhythm change. There is a rhythm change for the musical chorus. After the first chorus the song repeats itself from the minor solo section.
6.) "Invisible" – This intro opens with a drum fill. The band uses the same rhythm for the musical verse as the one for the intro. There is a small lead guitar run along with a switch up of the hi-hat connecting the fourth and fifth lyric lines. The band slows the song down for the pre-chorus and then speeds it back up for the chorus. There is a minor Yngwie Malmsteen influenced lead guitar solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse. There is also a minor lead guitar solo underneath the second verse. The choruses are dripping with huge hooks. The major lead guitar solo is after the second chorus. Though Gary sings several vocal accents over the top of the solo they are completely overshadowed.
7.) "Love Song" – This track opens with cross stick (wood block) drum line. The main musical intro kicks-in on the fifth measure. The main musical intro consisted of a very simple musical arrangement. Over the top of the main musical intro there is a backing harmony. There is a rhythm change for the musical verse. Vocally on this track Gary reminded me a lot of Tony Harnell (Westworld, TNT) and the stuff Tony sang with Westworld. The musical verse was done with a simple acoustic guitar using the keyboard to fill-in the emptiness. The song does not kick-in until the chorus. Connecting the first chorus with the second verse there is a keyboard solo. The lead guitar solo is after the second chorus. As the solo progresses it gets more intense. If one did not know any better they would swear Harnell wrote this. The coda consisted of an acoustic guitar rhythm.
8.) "The Hourglass And The Landslide" – From beginning to end just a very simple straight forward great AOR song. It is songs like this that shows why Gary has been around all these years!!!
9.) "Destiny" – This track opens a minor lead guitar solo over the top of an almost classical influenced musical arrangement. There is a rhythm change for the musical verse. The verse was done using a sixteenth-note rhythm arrangement. The rhythm guitar arrangement does not really get going until the musical chorus. The lead guitar solo that opened the intro was repeated after the first chorus. Instead of a standard hi-hat drum line Mark’s drum line of the second verse was done using a tom-tom pattern. The third verse was done using a hi-hat opening and closing pattern. The coda consisted of a very cool little rhythm guitar riff.
10.) "The Wave" – What a hell of a song!!!!!
After a five-year hiatus Gary Hughes and Ten return with ‘Stormwarning’. A lot of the European websites are being pretty harsh on Gary and the band. However I did not hear one thing to be harsh about. This should be and will be in certain circles a classic melodic rock release. If you into eighties style heavy melodic rock with huge hooks then this will be the release for you!!!