If you were to look for a definition of Melodic Rock, there’d be no need for you to look any further than “Coup De Grace,” the sixth studio album from Swedish rockers Treat.
Now I’ll be honest. I hadn’t listened to any of Treat’s music until I listened to this album. I’d heard of the band, but I didn’t know anything about them at all. I’m one of those unfortunate people who thought that Europe was Sweden’s best melodic rock export. All I can say is that I have SERIOUSLY been missing out. What I heard when I listened to this album literally amazed me. “Coup De Grace” is nothing short of a masterpiece that encompasses every element of the Melodic Rock genre, from smooth vocals and tight harmonies to driving rhythms and guitar laden anthems. And the production?? Simply REMARKABLE!!!
The album opens with a stirring prelude that features audio clips from several memorable historical events and speeches, moving from war and terror to peace and love. I personally think that many of these types of preludes on albums are cheesy, but this one is really well done. Afterwards, you’re transported into the heavy, opening guitar riff of “The War Is Over,” a feel-good, fist-pumping, stadium rocker with some mind-blowing harmonies, in both the vocals and the guitars. This is followed by “All In,” a deliciously fun number that kind of feels like a cross between Def Leppard and Buckcherry.
The fourth track on the album is “Paper Tiger,” which has symphonic elements that roll into some powerful vocals and huge hook lines. “Roar” follows with the same type of symphonic elements, but it’s a much harder track with some awesome guitar riffs and aggressive vocals.
Of course, a melodic rock album would not be fit for purchase without an awesome power ballad. Treat definitely delivers with “A Life To Die For.” I’m a BIG fan of the piano and the keyboards in this song. And I love the way that the simple melody builds throughout the song as layers of guitars and harmonies are added. Of course, the lyrics are enough to give any rocker chick butterflies.
“Tangled Up” is a hard-drivin’ party rocker with some fantastic guitar work, including a kick-ass solo. The album then moves into a heavier, chunkier sound in “Skies of Mongolia.” This song is GREAT. It has a much darker feel, lending additional depth to the scope of songs on the album. “Heaven Can Wait” follows with a great melody and a catchy refrain.
“I’m Not Runnin” is another heavy track that‘s quite multi-dimensional, combining a style that you hear in more modern bands (especially in the verses) with the ‘80s feel of big choruses and big harmonies. “No Way Without You” is next. It’s an anthem that moves along at a thunderous pace and literally makes you want to roll down your windows, crank the stereo, and drive 100 miles an hour! I want to describe the next track, “We Own The Night,” just by saying that it made me close my eyes and smile. It’s everything I love about melodic rock. If you listen to it, you’ll get it. It’s amazing! It’s followed by “All For Love,” yet another catchy anthem that will have you singing right along. The album closes with the hard-driving “Breathless,” containing a great melody, some powerful riffs, and a spectacular guitar solo.
Big guitars. Big choruses. Big sound. “Coup De Grace” has all of that and more. It’s one of those albums that will captivate you from start to finish. Every track is simply amazing! Don’t be one of the millions of Americans who are missing out on exceptionally incredible rock music because you’re stuck listening to Nickelback and the rest of the crap played on radio. Go out and get this album. You won’t be disappointed!!!
Dear Treat: Welcome to heavy rotation on my iPod.
Coup De Grace will be released on April 20th. Check them out on myspace at this link.
Rating on Dee’s “How Hard Does It Rock” scale: Out of 10
01. Prelude – Coup de Grace 2:27
02. The War Is Over 3:57
03. All In 4:11
04. Paper Tiger 4:27
05. Roar 4:27
06. A Life To Die For 4:21
07. Tangled Up 4:07
08. Skies of Mongolia 3:52
09. Heaven Can Wait 3:29
10. I’m Not Runnin’ 3:26
11. No Way Without You 4:09
12. We Own The Night 4:34
13. All For Love 3:50
14. Breathless 4:22
Robert Ernlund: vocals
Anders Wickstrom: guitars and background vocals
Jamie Borger: drums
Nalle Pahlsson: bass
Patrick Appelgren: keyboards, guitar and background vocals
Frontiers Records to release TREAT brand new reunion album “Coup De Grace” on March 19th in Europe and April 6th in the USA.
January 2010 – Twenty-five years after the release of their sensational debut album “Scratch and Bite” and eighteen year since their last self-titled studio album saw the light of day, Swedish melodic rock legends Treat are out to get you on the run again!
“Coup de Grace” is the album that every melodic rock fan hoped for but never dared to dream of: a classic rock masterpiece with thunderous guitars, powerful yet seductive melodies and hook-laden songs, all wrapped up in a production that combines the best of “now” and “then”.
It´s been twenty-five years in the making, says guitarist and main songwriter Anders Wikström. Since day one I knew we had this album in us. The ideas were there. The vision. But it took us this long to find the right tools to make it all come true. It took five albums, millions of miles on the road, a thirteen year long break and a whole new perspective on life to get it right. In hindsight it now seems that everything we´ve done since we formed the band has been pointing in one direction. Of course we didn´t know it back then, but this is what we aimed for all along, says Anders.
So here we are, in 2010 Treat is releasing their sixth album, not counting the best of “Weapons of Choice”, released when the band reformed in 2006. “Coup de Grace” is a collection of songs that is so much more than just kick-ass-sing-along-rock´n´roll-songs. They are more a sort of mini autobiographies from five grown men reflecting on life. Back then, in the 80´s, it was rock´n´roll twenty-four-seven: big guitars, big choruses, big hair, babes and booze.
This album is a statement of who we are today, explains Anders Wikström. We’re older… yeah, perhaps even wiser. We look at our lives and the world around us in a different way. I wanted to reflect that in our lyrics. I mean, we’re all fathers and we raise our kids in a world that’s in a turmoil. There’s a lot of pressures, fears and tough expectations. The rat race is spinning out of control, but everybody expect you to be happy. The big guitars are still there and became even bigger. The big choruses. The big sound. The hair… yeah, well, you know: they’re in the mid forties. Booze? Nah. Babes? Yeah. Their wives and girlfriends. The mothers of their kids. But there’s as new “big” in the Treat equation: the courage to let their fears, worries and views on both politics and the modern life that wears us all down reflect in the lyrics. It was the natural thing to do. I mean, life is so much more than rock´n´roll all night and party every day, says Wikström.
But make no mistakes: Treat is a rock´n´roll brigade. A force of nature. Today even stronger and more powerful than ever. From the opening somewhat haunting prelude, that sets the tone of the album, the right-in-your face rock´n´roll grenade The war is over, the soul searching Paper tiger to the trademark power ballad A life to die for and Roar, where the band manages to make an epic with a hit feeling, Treat is telling all the world that they’re back. Bigger, better and bolder.
We got back together in 2006 because we all missed playing together. We released a compilation album and did a tour, but we weren’t sure what to do next. In 2008 we all felt that we had an album to do, continues Wikström. I started demoing songs and in May 2009 we were ready to hit the studio.
Produced and recorded in Stockholm, Sweden by Anders Wikström, partly together with keyboard player Patrick Appelgren, “Coup de Grace”, is an album that’s going to stand out in a musical climate where mediocrity and superficiality are an asset but where talent, musicianship and dedication is not required to make the charts.
“Coup de Grace” includes the following tracks:
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.
This is our footprint in the history of rock´n´roll, concludes Anders Wikström. We can proudly say that this is the album we would like to show our grandkids!
TREAT is ANDERS WIKSTRÖM (guitars and backing vocals), ROBERT ERNLUND (lead vocals), JAMIE BORGER (drums), NALLE PÅHLSSON (bass and backing vocals) and PATRICK APPELGREN (keyboards/guitar and backing vocals)