Release Date 21.04.17
On paper the release of Treat’s live set at the 2016 Frontiers Rock Festival in Italy is was a release I was looking forward to. Not only were Treat- alongside bands like Fate and Skagarack- one of the leading lights in the Scandinavian melodic rock scene of the late eighties, but since reforming they have produced a brace of quality albums, most recently last year’s ‘Ghost of Graceland’ with song writing that has matured without losing their melodic edge. Indeed they were one of the few acts I regretted not being able to attend the festival that year.
And yet the album is far from a rough and ready representation. There is a tradition of even the greatest live albums being touched up (‘Live and Dangerous’ and ‘Unleashed in the East’ to name but two), but most obviously in heavily promoting the new album- five out of the first seven songs come from it, with Robert Ernlund’s vocals sounding suspiciously pristine and close to their studio versions: viewing the accompanying DVD is inconclusive. At the same time the fact the CD booklet features action pictures of the regular band members, but not Heat’s Jona Tee who guested on keyboards that night, all adds to a rather inauthentic feel.
It’s a shame as the set is a well chosen past and present mix, the semi ballad ‘Get You on the Run’ remains as sweet as ever and newer material like ‘Paper Tiger’ also impresses, as does traditional live favourite ‘Conspiracy’ with guitarist Anders Wikstrom burning his way up and down the fretboard. The encores also perfectly mix old and new with the keyboard heavy ‘Skies of Mongolia’ having an epic pomp feel, followed by the classic Treat anthem ‘World of Promises’.
As an introduction to one of the underrated greats of melodic rock this package is recommended- I just feel it does less than it says on the tin. ***
Review by Andy Nathan
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