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Good times with chocolate covered machetes. - 84%

hells_unicorn, May 4th, 2011

It’s necessary to lighten things up a bit, particularly when you deal in the largely bleak and sometimes fun world of metal music. Often comic relief is sought in the world of power metal, particularly in the German succession of Helloween oriented bands, which has often included Edguy, a band that has since become funny while trying to be serious and also quite awkward musically. In the wake of this, the debut of Italian candy hunters Trick Or Treat has picked up the torch and essentially ran it to the finish line, going from occasional tongue-in-cheek jokes to a full length French smooch session on both sides of the face. But for all of the shameless good times with chocolate covered deadly weapons, this is a band that has proven well adept at keeping from falling into the musical track of “Pink Bubbles Go Ape” while playing up the comedy side with slightly less tact.

“Evil Needs Candy Too” is a celebration of melodic indulgence and reminiscence of all things 80s at a much faster tempo, including the famous imagery of 80s horror icons such as Freddy, Jason, Stripe and Pennywise on the album cover preparing to consume some sugary goodies, with the evil girl from “The Ring” along as a token present day character to remind us what year it is. It has all the charm of the solid album that Helloween never got around to releasing with Michael Kiske after the “Keepers” series, featuring a vocalist in Alessandro Conti who sounds remarkably similar to said former Helloween vocalist, save a bit thinner and lighter in timbre. The loudness factor is a bit more indicative of present day practices, though the guitar sound has a similar crunch and drive to the stereotypical 80s distorted character, and the general mood is bouncy and fun-loving to boot.

There’s no shortage of solid original material to be heard on here. The humorous intro dialogue between what is assumedly a family of monster movie characters on par with The Munsters preparing for dinner, and the upbeat and up tempo title song, are testaments to how one can be entertaining without throwing in too many fancy tricks beyond traditional speed metal riffing with some slight pop/punk tendencies and the traditional guitar soloing style heard since the early NWOBHM. In similar fashion, the pop infused rocker “Like Donald Duck” and the charmingly unserious revamp of the Cyndi Lauper classic “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” with an equally punk-like riff character meshed with high-flying vocal gymnastics can’t help but put a smile on the face in spite of his black heart. The band also shows some signs of technical prowess and depth on “Joyful In Sadness” and “Perfect Life”, which plays up some of the latent Iron Maiden influences that were present in Helloween’s pre-Kiske era, and are a bit more serious in character.

There’s no shortage of goodies to rot your auditory teeth out of your mouth with, regardless to whether or not it’s Halloween. In fact, Trick Or Treat has stumbled upon the equivalent of celebrating a un-birthday every other day that isn’t the festive precursor to All Saints Day. If the opportunity presents itself, it is highly recommended to pick up the limited edition with the cover of “The Never Ending Story”, which is as fast and exciting as the Dragonland version, but a bit more intricate and includes some material from the original film score that fits the 80s pop tune perfectly. It’s time to break out the fake Freddy gloves, ski masks and clown makeup, and have a very happy un-Halloween.