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