Formed in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1999, 10 Years have, to date, released 7 studio albums, with varying degrees of success for the alt-metal/post-grunge outfit.
Their stand-out being their first album under a major label, The Autumn Effect (2005), which amongst many long-time fans is considered the best of their catalogue. Followed by 2008’s Division and Feeding The Wolves in 2010. Having toured extensively with some of the major hitters across the world for their 2012 release Minus the Machine.
Having lost two of the founding members, the musical styling changed a little, and even frontman Jesse Hasek, has spoken of how their last album, From Birth To Burial (2015), just did not feel right, and he believed it could have well been the final chapter in the 10 Years book.
Yet here we are only two years later, and Brian Vodinh (guitarist/drummer) and Matt Wantland (guitar) have rejoined the band, and with them bring a whole new outlook and vigour. With a new producer on board in Grammy award winning Nick Raskulinecz, the foundations were laid for 10 Years to put together what could well be their best album to date. Being a little less produced in regards to vocals, with less layering etc, Jesse’s voice is far more of a stand out feature, which for me is a bold but successful move.
From the opening track, ‘The Messenger’, it is clear that the direction being taken, whilst fresh and different is very much akin to that of The Autumn Effect. That magic and chemistry oozes out through my earphones and permeates through my body like a warm comfortable glow. Without hesitation it just feels right.
‘Novacaine’ is the first single from the album, and has all the hallmarks of being a big hit for the band. Being about how life changes you and often desensitizes you, it will relate to a broad range of people.
‘Burnout’ is another track that is a little introspective and to me, was instantly appealing as it is lyrically very straightforward and musically very catchy. Definitely one I liked after only a single listen.
The slightly off-beat sound of ‘Catacombs’ makes your ears instantly prick up and listen. And it is that slightly off-beat sound, coupled with very catchy lyrics that makes me think that this too will be a fan favourite.
The title track ‘Ghosts’, is a power packed tune with a sublime combination of strong lyrics and fantastic vocals. An ideal title track, with a tonne of appeal. I found myself singing along to it pretty much after the first full listen through.
‘Blood Red Sky’, is one of my own faves, due it being that bit different from the other tracks. Vocally, Jesse has really nailed it on this track.
‘Phantoms’ is next and while not a stand out track to me, is certainly not a miss either.
‘Vampires’ has a really great vibe to it, and the beat simply makes you want to move. Jesse’s vocals on this track are simply amazing.
‘Halos’ is just one of those tracks that you find yourself going back to time and time again, playing it over and over. And I find it more and more appealing with every listen.
The intro to ‘Lucky You’ is just simply stunning and the vocals are sublime. Slightly haunting but beautiful, it struck a chord with me instantly. I could more than likely list this as my favourite track on the album, but as I listen to the whole album over and over, this could potentially change.
‘Insomnia’ is the last track on the album, and takes the vibe and beauty of the whole album right through to the end.
All in all, it is remarkable that the core writing group coming together and a change in the writing process has seemed to be the injection of creativity that 10 Years needed in order to produce this great overall album. Having a stellar producer on board helps also.
For the fanbase who enjoyed The Autumn Effect, you will be very surprised, and I am sure more than happy to know that whilst the sound has returned to that similar feel, I think it is more the chemistry of the band members coming back to that winning combination that will make this album a huge success. It is consistent, complete and clearly is a totally collaborative piece of work that the guys should be super proud of.