1. Prelude – Coup de Grace
2. The War Is Over
3. All In
4. Paper Tiger
6. A Life to Die For
7. Tangled Up
8. Skies of Mongolia
9. Heaven Can Wait
10. I’m Not Runnin’
11. No Way Without You
12. We Own the Night
13. All for Love
Release Date: 19 March 2010 – Frontiers Records
It is now 25 years ago that Treat released their debut „Scratch an bite“ and the first new record since 13 years. In summary it is the bands sixth fulltime album and the band called it „Coup de Grace“.
The band describes the music as the best of now and then and the lyrics as a mixture of world politics and party. Treat was a first adress in melodic metal in the 80`s so let’s find out what the five swedish boys that are now grown to husbands and dads have to say in the year 2010.
All starts with the „Prelude Coup de Grace“. A summary of historical phrases and announcements underlined by background keys that manifests the tragic of those historical events.
It fits to the following „The war is over“. And first thing that surprises is that Robert Ernlund didnt lose anything of his well known, melodic voice. Even in the heights he performs clean and together with the backing vocals this song gets a hymn character with a nice refrain. But the song also has enough power cause of the well done guitar work and pumping drums. I would say this song is the first hit of this album with a lot of charts credibility.
After this it is time for some rock’n roll. „All in“ has the typical vibes of 80’s hair bands. A song near to bands like Autograph, Winger and yes….old Treat. The girls will like it.
„Paper Tiger“ starts with a kind of symphonic guitar/keys part that continues during the song. Again very melodic vocal lines and refrain. Treat still know how to write songs that people can sing easily. Some guitar breaks and a solo leans that song enough power so that this one is more in the direction of metal than rock’n roll.
A sequence of a pumping heart and fearful intro begins „Roar“ before a great riff appears that shares with more aggressive vocals. A harder track but the refrain is very catchy. Ready to roar, ready or not. Interrupted by a great break and guitar solo the song fades out with the brilliant refrain. This is melodic metal at its best. Old vibes transported to modern times.
With „A life to die for“ we have the first ballad of the album. Typical AOR sound. A ballad thousand times heard. Not a bad song but nothing that puts you tears in your eyes. More for the hearts and easy listening. No surprise in the structure of the song. But I think a Treat album has to have such a song on the playlist.
Guitar riffing is back with „Tangled up“. Cool wah-wah guitar sound in the tradition of George Lynch in Dokken times. The hardest song so far. Some „hey’s“ in the refrain and the song is pumping hard til the end.
After this we are in the orient now. That’s how „Skies of Mongolia“ starts…oriental. But soon the song moves to a melodic smasher. Again harder guitars with great vocal harmonies and a fantastic refrain.
„Heaven can wait“ points with good guitar work. A mixture of rock’n roll and hard rock. Catchy refrain with a little party attitude. Again a song that could hit the charts.
Another party smasher follows with „I’m not runnin’“. Cool guitar leads that sound a little bit strange but powerful. Nothing really new but well played and with some new elements in the bands sound.
Another hairy song is coming up. „No way without you“ will work really good in your car if your windows are opened and the sun is shining on the highway. Wear your spandex and rock the streets. Pure rock’n roll..not more but not less.
„We own the night“ is the second ballad of the album. Wonderful guitar lines and a catchy chorus are the trademarks of that song. Robert Ernlund performs really tight.
„All for love“ is more a filler than a killer. Nothing surprising and too cheesy. Again more for the ladies. Nice refrain and a good guitar solo…but thats all.
„Breathless“ rounds up this come back album. Here we find again all the classic trademarks of Treat. Good harmonies in the refrain. Guitar riffs and powerful backlines. Maybe I think we can find the best song of „Coup de Grace“ in the end, cause this owns all what Treat stands for.
Ok..we have some suitable tracks on this newest release, but in summary we can say that Treat is definetely back. The vocals are as good as everytime, most songs have enough power to bring the songs away from cheesiness. But what the hell would the band tell us with their frontcover artwork in pirates style? I couldn’t identify this with any song of „Coup de Grace“.
Anyway….the album can keep the standards of todays AOR or Melodic Metal highlights. And so there is still a place for Treat in this area of music business.
Welcome back !!
Review by Kerb