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Treat - Coup De Grace

posted 25 Jul 2011, 06:55 by Paul Woodward
(Frontiers Records)

Sweden’s AOR legends Treat return with their first original studio album in 13 years.  Treat are a band that have been recommended to me many times given my musical preferences and given their loyal fan base and the respect they garner form their peers they have always been a band I’ve meant to check out but never seemed to get 'round too. When the band reformed in 2006 and released a best of “Weapons Of Choice” it was an ideal chance for me to check the band out, with what I believed would be a career spanning highlight album therefore giving me a good idea of the band. I have to say I was very unimpressed and instantly wondered what all the fuss was about. In fact there was only one track that I liked “I Burn For You”, which was a new song written specifically for the best of collection. When I got my hands on the promo for this, I really didn’t want to give it a spin. Given my previous thoughts on the band, I felt that this wouldn’t appeal to me and left me with no desire to purchase the album.

I’m so glad I did give it a spin; to say I was totally blown away by it would be an understatement. Coup De Grace is virtually melodic rock perfection, all killer no filler as the saying goes. A high quality album which will hit you instantly, in fact there were several times on the first spin I near shit meself with joy as I was bombarded with catchy as hell melodies and fist pumping melodic rocking anthems!  There's a good mixture of tempos and styles on the album, and I’m sure most fans will have different opinions on what their favourites are - a testament to just how insanely good this album is! 

Anders Wicksrom’s guitar playing is fantastic, from guitar widdle god to melody master in moments - it's presented to us all over this album. Robert Ernlund is fast becoming a favourite vocalist of mine, full of power when needed but his melodic sensibility make him a pleasure to listen to and give the band an outlet to create full-on rockers as well as melodic monsters! The rhythm section are two of my favourites from fellow Swedish rockers Last Autumn's Dream, Jamie Borger (Drums) and Nalle Phalsson (Bass) who both just let rip - and once you hear the album you’ll agree, these two must have had a whale of time recording these songs!  Oh and not forgetting Patrick Appelgren on Keys, who delivers some great bombastic moments on the album giving some songs even more power - anyone who thinks keys soften and make albums lighter should check this album out to be proved undeniably wrong!

The album opens with “Prelude - Coup de Grace” which is basically an atmospheric intro to build for the album opener. “The War Is Over” has a massive riff and a hugely melodic chorus, Wickstrom’s guitar work is phenomenal throughout. “All In” is a fist raising full on rocker with a fantastic sing along chorus. The song has a great energy, rhythm and drives which makes this a great head banging dance floor filler! “Paper Tiger” has a great opening guitar riff accompanied by some big hook filled bombastic key’s that drags you in from the opening second! It has a killer melodic chorus which I’m sure is going to hit all the right spots with melodic rock fans all over the world.  This is surely destined to become a live classic; I can see the hair flying already!

“Roar” is the bastard lovechild of “I Burn For You” from the best of album and follows a similar song structure. Just like that song “Roar” is a real fist pumping melodic anthem with HUGE sing along chorus and some outstanding guitar parts!  They quieten things down a little bit for the beautiful heartfelt atmospheric ballad “A Life To Die For”, if this song was released by a mainstream act it would dominate the singles charts for endless weeks, unfortunately melodic rock ain’t trendy so it won’t happen for Treat sadly! “Tangled Up” returns to the band to full on rock territory with a big bad loud riff, some infectiously likable guitar licks and a full on rockin’ chorus sustain the high quality of the songs on the album.

“Skies of Mongolia” and don’t let the title put you off, surely I’m not the only one who thought of parody rockers Bad News’s “Warriors Of Genghis Khan” after reading that title, No? Just me? Bugger! It has real epic feel to it although its only 4 minutes long, the opening atmospheric vocals a la the film Gladiator obviously help that feeling! It’s probably the heaviest track on the album with some heavy guitar work massive bombastic key’s and one big ass melodic chorus make this a sure-fire hit with me! This has to be a cert for live shows given its instant power, energy and urgency!

Hook filled “Heaven Can Wait” has an insistent guitar riff and a fantastic harmonic chorus. “I’m Not Runnin” is a mid tempo driving number with a chorus that will whether you like it or not, and believe me resistance is futile will embed itself on your sub conscious. Gotthard front man Steve Lee had a hand in the song writing on next song “No Way Without You” and there are some Gotthard-isms in there! It has an instant killer sing along melodic chorus, which you will find yourself sing along too on the first listen a fantastic melodic monster of a song, I know I’ll be singing along to this one into the small hours beer in hand - ‘til the neighbours phone the pork that is!

“We Own The Night” is a perfect melodic monster of a song, this song left me slack jawed and twitching after an onslaught of ball tickling good melodies and infectious guitars and a wonderful, beautiful melodic sing along chorus. WARNING!  This song may cause multiple eargasm’s, please note plastic pants are not included with this album (sold separately) - Thankfully my Tara’s Secret plastic pants haven’t gone moldy yet so they came in handy!

“All For Love” has a great opening guitar before building up to another sing along melodic chorus, some top notch vocals on this one.  I really like the vocal mid section - post chorus of this tune! Album closer “Breathless” returns to the full on rock shown earlier to finish the album with a bang, big riff, and big chorus with haunting melodies.

I personally think this is the best album the band have ever done, and whilst I’m sure hardcore Treat fans may beg to differ, even they have to admit this album even surpassed their expectations!  A Full on melodic rock album, no messin’, they just deliver the hook-filled goodies straight to your eardrums - with no apologies!  An album which grabs you from the onset and doesn’t let go for the duration, hook filled songs, thunderous guitars, excellent vocals, a powerful rhythm section and melodies and songs most bands would sell their granny’s for! Are you a Melodic Rock fan?  Yes?  Well what you waiting for go buy - this is Melodic Rock at its finest!

This album shows there is still life in the melodic rock scene, without having to ditch keyboards, melodies and harmonies in favour of raw aggression and down-tuned guitars. This album proves there are still high standard quality albums available, hopefully this will be a standard others will reach for and not only keep the scene ticking over but give it LIFE! As more albums of this quality will only ensure the music's survival against the mainstream odds!

Track Listing: Prelude - Coup de Grace / The War Is Over / All In / Paper Tiger / Roar / A Life To Die For / Tangled Up / Skies Of Mongolia / Heaven Can Wait / I’m Not Runnin’ / No Way Without You / We Own The Night / All For Love / Breathless

Album Rating: 5/5

Woody’s Essential Track: We Own The Night

Coup de Grace is OUT NOW and available from all good retailers and