Hard Reviews 2
by Martin Popoff

Ten Babylon
(Frontiers)

Ain't got time to read another pulp SF tale of an environmentally exhausted future earth, but that doesn't dispel the fact that Ten's latest can be enjoyed as a panacea to White Skull/Hammerfall-style power metal. For Ten have characteristics that put them in a world of their own, main one being Gary Hughes' steady, slightly Coverdaled vocals, crooning solidly and never hyperactively above great, open architecture melodies (see Royal Hunt) and I never thought I'd say this a drum sound that is totally over-produced but oddly appropriate, texturing and massaging into guest keyboardist Don Airey's similarly unrepentant 80s tones. Unafraid to be shamelessly AOR, Ten make it work, much on the shoulders of Hughes and his measured delivery.
Rating 7.5

Various Artists - Bat Head Soup: A Tribute To Ozzy
(Deadline)

Picking my favor of a half dozen ways to make a tribute album, Deadline assembles what reaches the realm of dream teams for this most enjoyable blast through Ozzy's hits. The vocal slot is better filled than the guitar postings, but heck, even those drummers and bassists are the first or second names in their chosen games. Two don't fit of course, Lisa Loeb's suburban Goodbye To Romance and The Flys' doing Suicide Solution. But man, Mr. Crowley's got Ripper, Yngwie and Tommy Aldridge and Crazy Train features Dee Snider, Tony Levin and Jason Bonham. Damn. And it's a strange range for Dee incidentally, Dee coming off as a cross between Devin and DuBrow. Elsewhere it's the usual suspects (notable: Lemmy showing up for his own Desire), but heck these are good suspects.
Rating 7.5

Hard Reviews Page 3