TEN - 'Return To Evermore'

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TEN - 'Return To Evermore'

A Rocktopia user review by Dairenn Lombard.

For the Genre: **--- (2/5)
Compared to the Era: ****- (4/5)

Summary: Return to Mediocrity

While some die-hard Ten fans will probably disagree, Return to Evermore is an album with a bad case of having a split personality. First, the good news. “Strangers in the Night” and “Sail Away” are, incidentally, magnificent pieces and “Even the Ghosts Cry” and “ Evil’s On Top in the World” are textbook Melodic Rock ear-candy, especially thanks to Vinny Burns’ replacement on guitars, Chris Francis. For some reason, though, the album veers off into alternative rock-land with tracks like “Lost Soul” and “Tearing My Heart Out,” which seem to be inspired by the initial work of Alice In Chains or even The Black Crowes. Nevertheless, these tracks are still more enjoyable than “Dreamtide,” a song with a terrible mix and ridiculous sound effects that spoiled an, otherwise, nice tune with a phenomenal chorus.

I have no idea what they were talking about in the liner notes when they compared Pete Coleman to Yngwie Malmsteen by calling him “Oldie Pipesteen”. I’m sure Mr. Coleman is good, but why the hyperbole? Especially when his part—the English pipes in the song “Evermore”—is not particularly spectacular. His line adds a nice touch at best. In fact, that song was getting ready to end up very lame until you get to the heart of the track. Even then, it joins songs like "Temple of Love" in being like the rest of the record: the material just isn’t the strongest thing Ten has ever done.

In fact, the one reason I haven’t tried to eBay my copy is that the artwork is brilliant, especially the on-disc printing. Otherwise, it doesn’t seem like two years was spent getting this record out. Even though I liked it much better than Babylon, I couldn’t bring myself to listen to this album more than just the few times it took to get acquainted with the material because there were just too many issues. Excessively lengthy tracks due to excessively lengthy introductions, inaudible lyrics, poorly mixed drums and songs that were beneath Hughes’ typically ability to write strong material.

Dairenn Lombard (Rocktopia user name: starfire)

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TEN - 'Return To Evermore'
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