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Aye, evil DOES need candy too and, once in a while, all of us overly-serious and grim metalheads could use a good smile and, thankfully, Trick Or Treat seems to be subscribe to the same philosophy, crafting fantastic power metal that'll make you grin, laugh and even headbang a bit too (if not a lot). It is no surprise that Italy's Trick Or Treat started off as a Helloween tribute band, for had I not known Mr. Alessandro Conti was in fact Mr. Alessandro Conti rather than Mr. Michael Kiske I could have been convinced this was Mr. Michael Kiske's new band (eh, that sentence was a bit of a mouth-full, through hopefully it gets the point well enough anyway); I do not, for the record, mean the aforementioned statement as a negative one but, on the contrary, quite a positive one - Kiske-esque vocals in a power metal band ARE a good thing, I say!
Kicking off with It's Snack Time (come on, you know you already want to crack open the Sixlets), which is a rather short and humorous intro, the band quickly kicks into gear with the mighty title-cut which is, undoubtedly, a flawless speedy, powerful number in-line with the likes of I'm Alive or Eagle Fly Free from our beloved, Hansen-era Helloween. The melodies are extremely powerful throughout the song, the drumming is as speedy as could be and the vocals are, as you can probably guess, totally incredible; a song like this reminds me WHY I fell in love with power metal in the first place. Time For Us All and Like Donald Duck keep things going quite well when, out of nowhere (or maybe not), the Italians hit us with a cover of Cyndi Lauper's late 80's hit Girls Just Want To Have Fun which is, oddly enough, pretty darn enjoyable in context with what the band is all about so, on this end, there's no complaints. The remainder of the album features a number of awesome songs, including the mid-paced Who Will Save The Hero, the speedier Joyful In Sadness and Perfect Life as well as the album's closing epic, Back To Life, which is a solid piece of nine-minute metal. Oh, and the cover of Limahl's The Neverending Story is quite appropriate too, though not quite as magical as Dragonland's majestic rendition of the song.
Production-wise, Evil Needs Candy sounds fantastic, being concise and clear throughout; the instruments are balanced and the guitar-tone is quite excellent, in both the rhythm and lead department. You've got to dig the cover art too - so great!
From what I've observed of other power metal enthusiasts, with myself being included, we're not looking for originality over passion and there is no doubt that Trick Or Treat is passionate about making incredible power metal that is, yes, pretty much like old Helloween. If you are, like myself, a bit (or extremely) disappointed with later Helloween, it's time to take a trip to Italy and experience the album that, in some ways, should have been after Keeper Of The Seven Keys, Pt. 2 (and really, it's so appropriate too, as it has the humor of Pink Bubbles Go Ape without all of the lack-luster songs) as it will, undoubtedly, satisfy your hunger. In conclusion, Trick Or Treat deliver awesome and sincere power metal that isn't afraid to have a bit of fun and a few kicks here and there so, aye, get it, bust-out the Wonka candy and ENJOY!