Written by: Valkyrjia
Release Date: April 1st , 2022
Power Metal from Modena, Italy
Label: Scarlet Records
FFO: Helloween, Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian, Stratovarius, Rhapsody of Fire, Sabaton
This is no trick (but it really is a treat!) as with April 1st, the renowned day known as ‘April Fools’ Day’ we are gifted the most mature Trick or Treat work ever via their newest album “Creepy Symphonies” thanks to Scarlet Records. Their ‘happy metal manifesto’ kicks things up a notch with speed metal, power ballads, and even a 12-minute curtain closer that seems to give us the ‘treat’ we have truly needed in a world all too serious as of late.
This album is a journey through ten tracks that tackle the tiny horrors shadowed in our so-called civil societies. Classic horror icons and movie monsters have returned, and now they’re more scared of us than we are of them!
In typical Trick or Treat fashion, topics such as environmental issues, cyberbullying, and social media addiction are depicted in a unique and uplifting twist.
We jump right in with the track “Trick or Treat” that provides a classic horror tune to the phrase we all grew-up with as children. From the spooky movies on TV to Halloween Night, the fun-filled phrase that could result in a heap of cavities and sore bellies can be easily turned into one of fear and mystery with simple changes in tone.
“Creepy Symphony” brings the Power Metal vibes with Alle Conti’s soaring vocals and the skilled guitar work of both Guido Benedetti and Luca Venturelli. The hastened drums brought in by Luca Setti are cranked up and energized by the rivaling bass of Leone Villani Conti within the first minute of this wild track. It’s hard not to catch yourself singing along with the chorus of this fun track, “skeletons and monsters are dancing, scaring people in the streets, sing with us the creepy symphony!” and you bet your backend I did. Sky-high guitar solos tear into this track with ferocity and really make you head bang your heart out as this track puts out all the stops.
The track “Have a Nice Judgment Day” tackles environmental disaster and even on lyrical notes of “such a bad news.. I had some good plans for my future. Being a Rockstar, or realize some piece of art… But we are not that smart,” you get the message all too clearly. It’s got a strange power ballad vibe of love mixed in with its ‘end of the world’ message that still results in catchiness and even some head-bobbing along. Not to be outdone by the previous track, this song is ripe with talented solos unleashed at the tail end that re-energizes and soothes all in one untamed motion.
“Crazy” pays homage to all those dreams we tucked away for the sake of being ‘productive members of society’. From our 8am cup of coffee to being locked down in a cubicle of muted whites and grays, this song truly grips the hectic life of the 9-5 and reminds you to take a break and reset your life for your own sake. Lyrics and composition are simple, and clean, keeping the focus on the message of this song while still smacking us with Power Metal solos and intensity that really hammers home the ‘I will be free!’ message in the chorus.
“Escape From Reality” picks up speed, utilizing Power Metal and Speed Metal influences to blast us with spastic drums and hastened riffs that have us gliding along. Vocals ring high through the chorus, holding notes and driving home “Cause you just won’t let me be free to be what I feel, you’ll never understand, but I will fight till the end, to change your mind!” The lyrics that scream of freeing yourself from the mundane and the addiction run rampant on this album and really drive home the message to do what is best for you, and no one else. This track really smacks us with that message, energizing us with passionate solo executions that hold some insanely high notes before battering down into a slower pace and a complete breakdown into a hell-storm of speed-laden melody to the very end.
The social-media track, “Queen of Likes” drives home our addiction to social media and the desire to people please through a tiny glass screen. Riffs come in solid and heavy to hammer us with our unyielding commitment to doom-scrolling post to post, site to site, in an endless routine of unfulfilling self-satisfaction. “Your awesome life, but nothing’s real. Empty inside, now tell me ‘how do you feel?’ Queen of Likes,” drops down into a ferocious solo that breaks into a speech that tells us just how infectious social media truly is. Noting that 60% of today’s youth spend 2 or more hours a day on social media apps, something we spend so much time on will have an everlasting effect on us whether we notice it or not.
The final track on this album is titled “The Power of Grayskull,” shaking Power Metal and its foundation to the core. Ethereal backing melodies bring in this track with untamed ferociousness, carrying through rigid drums and tremor-like riffs that really drive us wild. Vocals start low, almost secretive to build the adrenaline of this 80’s-inspired track. The moment this track started, I knew I’d find myself singing along, fist in the air as I reminisce about the battles of Skeletor and He-Man from my youth.
“By the power of Grayskull, thunder’s falling from the sky,” lands both impressively and filled with memory to send this track right to the stars. It compliments the album nicely, once more adding to the theme of comic monsters, and classic icons with one of the most popular 80’s cartoons to ever exist. The length this track goes to tell the tale and back it with an epic soundtrack-like ballad is stunning and I cannot be happier knowing one of my favourite shows growing up got this level of tribute.
The Bottom Line:
Add some fun to your musical playlist and throw this album into the mix. It tackles some serious issues but, adds things light-hearted and fun to the mix. Trick or Treat brings the energy with this 10-track album that brings back the old and kicks the new right in the face with their musical skill and experience. This album caught me singing along with ease, even head-banging and dancing along a few times within moments of a song’s beginning. It provides a break from an all too bleak reality, and really sets you free, even if its just for a few minutes.
Favourite tracks: Creepy Symphony, Queen of Likes, The Power of Grayskull
Bandcamp: Trick or Treat