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Trick or Treat - The Unlocked Songs

Trick or Treat
The Unlocked Songs
by Ian Yeara at 27 July 2021, 2:40 PM

Well it’s not often I’m asked to review compilation albums, and I’m going to be honest with you I don’t usually find much value in reviewing them. However I suppose I must say this compilation had the desired effect. I’m not overly familiar with TRICK OR TREAT, I remember listening to “Rabbit’s Hill” and being underwhelmed, these guys write solid music, but it just doesn’t stick with me, the song formulas are all very similar and rarely experiment much. Occasionally though they do hit power metal brilliance that keeps me interested. What I’m saying is that this band has always been a mixed bag and this compilation album is a great example of that. The most remarkable thing about this band though and why despite the mixed bag status, I will always listen to TRICK OR TREAT; Allesandro Conti. Easily one of my favorite modern italian metal vocalists,essentially the second coming of Fabio Leone, I will always check out any album Conti performs. Hell he managed to finally get me into TWILIGHT FORCE, a band I had previously held very mixed opinions on.

Getting into the music itself, the album starts off well enough with energetic AOR/power metal songs that feel inspirational enough and even a decent ballad in “Almost Gone” that might be a minute or so too long, but whatever I’ll always enjoy a solid power metal ballad (there are so few of them). Then of course we have the obligatory SKYRIM OST  DRAGONBORN cover. Look, it was fun when Equilibrium did it back in 2013, but now it’s getting old. Like yeah it’s a fine cover, but it’s nothing special, other than having Conti singing of course. Note to all power metal bands, find a new video game theme to cover please. Then we come to a song that perfectly encapsulates why I have a hard time with this band. “Heavy Metal Bunga Bunga” is a ridiculous song, but played straight? Here’s what I don’t love about Trick or Treat, they want to be a humorous power metal band, I can tell, but they play everything straight and to me the clash of tones is very off putting. So like I enjoy the music behind Bunga Bunga, I wish they would find a way to satirize themselves better, then again that’s how we got Christopher Bowes so maybe they should avoid that direction. “Human Drama” was a surprise, I wasn’t expecting a sincere effort at a pseudo epic power metal track from these guys and even though it has some slightly cringeworthy moments, the chorus is excellent and overall I think it’s a really well paced song, with some great guitar work going on underneath everything. Followed by “Hampshire Landscapes” which is a neat little instrumental, nothing too crazy but it’s a fun 3 minutes of power metal riffs.

Reviewing a compilation is weird, I know these songs don’t necessarily fit together in this order so I suppose all I can say is that they picked a decent variety of songs to represent their sound. I said already that I look at Trick or Treat as a somewhat mixed bag, they stumble back and forth between solid power metal, and attempting to be silly and ridiculous, not really selling it properly and so I end up finding a lot of their songs just awkward and tonally clashing. That’s exactly how this compilation went for me, probably like 3 really good songs, a few decent songs and a bunch that I would just as soon forget about. I will say if you haven’t heard Trick or Treat before this is a great introduction to them, especially for those who really like AOR influenced power metal, but for those familiar with the band, I don’t really see this compilation offering much, unless you really need to hear the Like Donald Duck demo.
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.  Hungarian Hangover
2.  Almost Gone
3.  I Cavalieri dello Zodiaco
4.  Dragonborn - Skyrim
5.  Heavy Metal Bunga Bunga
6.  Prince With a 1000 Enemies (Andre Matos version)
7.  Scream
8.  Human Drama
9.  Hampshire Landscapes
10.  Sagittarius - Golden Arrow (acoustic-orchestral)
11.  Evil Needs Christmas Too
12.  Like Donald Duck (demo 2004)
Lineup:
Leone Villain Conti - Bass
Guido Benedetti - Guitars
Allesandro Conti - Vocals
Luca Setti - Drums
Luca Venturelli - Guitars
Record Label: Scarlet Records
     


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