Trick Or Treat – Creepy Symphonies
Release Date: 01/04/22
Running Time: 49:50
Review by Simon Black
A couple of years ago I reviewed this Italian one-time Helloween tribute act’s previous outing “The Legend of the XII Saints” – a rather odd piece that was originally released as twelve singles on a concept and kept the seat warm whilst the world went into lockdown (with a filler compilation coming out in between). It was OK, but felt a little strained as a concept, so I was curious to see where “Creepy Symphonies” might go.
That Helloween (and indeed Gamma Ray) influence is very loud and clear this time well, with Alessandro Conti vocally channelling his inner Kiske throughout this record, as well as that classic Germanic Melodic Power Metal being a deep and vibrant influence on their sound. Given that Helloween have managed to resurrect and reinvent themselves so spectacularly recently, there’s clearly plenty of room in the marketplace for something similar, but this ain’t no Frontiers style olive oil knock off – they’re a band with a lot to offer in their own right.
Lyrically there’s a lot of that influence going on too, with ten songs that play around with some popular comic horror or pop culture themes, but there’s also a few darker elements at play here that poke at humanity’s tendency to play the fiddle whilst the world burns. This darker shade alongside their normal quirkiness works remarkably well, and makes for a much stronger outing this time round, precisely because it avoids the common Power Metal trap of taking itself excessively seriously. Because let’s face it, rounding off with a twelve minute epic with the 80’s TV Cartoon and toy brand ‘He-Man’ as your subject is never going to be taken seriously, ever (stand up ‘The Power of Grayskull’, this is your moment). When it’s delivered in a well-structured and superbly played package of virtuosity like this, what you get is a song that ought to be a joke, but is in fact a highlight.
Variety is also the pumpkin-esque spice of life here too, with plenty of balance between rollocking Power belters, good steady rockers and Power ballads that don’t bore. With seven albums under their belt to date, it’s easy to get complacent, but this is a band made up of strong players with other projects on the go, and therefore able to bring a strong and rigorous song-writing discipline to bear. The consequence is that I can’t really fault a single track on here, resulting an album that stands head and shoulders above 2020’s “…XII Saints”.
‘Creepy Symphony’ Official Video
01. Trick Or Treat
02. Creepy Symphonies
03. Have A Nice Judgment Day
05. Peter Pan Syndrome (Keep Alive)
06. Escape From Reality
07. Falling Over The Rainbow
08. Queen Of Likes
10. The Power Of Grayskull
Leone Villani Conti – Bass
Guido Benedetti – Guitars
Alessandro Conti – Vocals
Luca Setti – Drums
Luca Venturelli – Guitars
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