It's been nearly five years since the last Ten CD "Twilight Chronicles", which I thought was a good album, but seemed to be too progressive (long-winded) for many tastes. Mixed reviews and patchy production on releases surrounding Twilight - "The Essentials Collection" and "Veritas" - sent Ten songwriter Gary Hughes into the wilderness.
Almost unexpectedly he's back with a new incarnation of Ten, adding Neil Fraser (Lead Guitars), Mark Sumner (Bass Guitar) and Mark Zonder (Drums) and retaining existing members John Halliwell (Guitars) and Paul Hodson (Keyboards).
As a comeback album "Stormwarning" is superb. Excellent crisp production by Dennis Ward and fantastic cover artwork by Luis Royo raise expectations that are not disappointed. The songs are all really strong this time out, and are the best set of material since Babylon (2000).
Opener "Endless Symphony" is a progressive track, in the style of "Twilight Chronicles", and features some attractive piano and a strong chorus.
Elsewhere AOR style dominates the album with catchy songs like "Centre Of My Universe" and "The Hourglass And The Landslide". "Invisible" is an AOR gem with hard-rock blues guitar that reminds me of "Spellbound". The title track is a rock vision of Armageddon, like Foreigner playing Iron Maiden! Somewhere in the middle is the mild shock of "Book Of Secrets", whose overt lyrics are not all that welcome.
There are two ballads; "Love Song" has deeper lyrics than usual, and "The Wave" finishes the (European/USA) album on a light note.
The Gods of AOR have returned...