Release Date 14.09.18
Elder statesmen of the thriving Scandinavian melodic rock scene Treat have, since reforming, pursued an updated sound rather than just revisit past glories. But unlike their great contemporaries Europe, they have done so without losing touch with their melodic roots and indeed the influence of some modern bands like Eclipse can be heard in their sound.
Coming two years after ‘Ghost Of Graceland’, ‘Tunguska’ opens in interesting fashion with ‘Progenitors’, a melodic yet heavy number with historic themes but not obviously commercial. There are lighter moments with both ‘Always Have Always Will’ and ‘Build The Love’ having big hooks, but ‘Best Of Enemies’ has a darker feel with an almost metallic, yet still melodic riff, and ‘rose of Jericho’ echoes that to an extent.
The production, from Peter Mansson, is a cut above most current releases in the genre with all the instruments clearly individually audible and feeling natural, and a special word should go for the lyrics- interestingly, all from guitarist Anders ‘Gary’ Wikstrom – which generally steer away from tried and tested clichés, even if they occasionally mystify – I am no wiser who or what ‘Heartmath City’ is.
The second half of the album is perhaps more mainstream and in my view the better for it: ‘Man Overboard’ stretches the nautical metaphor as do the foghorn-sounding keyboards from Patrik Appelgren. The latter also supplies a spectacular synth solo and repeats the feat on ‘Riptide’.
The evergreen Robert Ernlund has one of those quintessentially Scandinavian voices with the slightest accent adding to the melodic sheen, notably on the well-judge ballad ‘Tomorrow Never Comes’. For my money though they leave the best and certainly most instant to last, in the rousing but melodic anthem ‘Undefeated’.
This is not immediately the most spectacular of albums but like both its predecessors it has staying power and I am confident it will come to be recognised as one of 2018’s masterpieces. **** 1/2
Review by Andy Nathan
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GOODBYE JUNE Switchblade Heart (Earache)
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