TREAT – ‘THE ENDGAME’ (Frontiers) HARD ROCK
Swedish veterans Treat return with their 9th album ‘The Endgame’ and give us another dose of quality melodic Hard Rock. Bassist Nalle Pahlsson who appeared on their classic ‘Coup De Grace’ album is back on board with Robert Ernlund (vocals), Anders Wikstrom (guitar), Jamie Borger (drums) and Patrick Appelgren (keyboards), and together the band are on fire. Once again produced by Peter Mansson who was also behind the desk for ‘Tunguska’ and ‘Ghost Of Graceland’, ‘The Endgame’, sounds huge and needs to be played loud for best effect.
Opening with the “bull out of the gate” stomp of ‘Freudian Slip’, the band show they mean business and start as they mean to carry on. Catchy hooks, blazing riffs, pumping bass, solid drums, colourful keyboards and solos abound throughout. Highlights include the up-tempo rockers ‘Rabbit Hole’, ‘Sinbiosis’, ‘Carolina Reaper’, the Loverboy-like ballad ‘My Parade’ and the wonderful ‘Jesus From Hollywood’ to name but a few. It’s all killer no filler.
I must admit when I heard the first single ‘Home Of The Brave’, I didn’t take to it as it came across as a bit too similar in sound to a lot of bands on the circuit, but I’m pleased to say it’s grown on me and I needn’t have worried about the rest of the album as it’s up there with Treat’s best work. The musicianship is excellent as expected, with all the band putting in high quality performances, although Anders Wikstrom’s guitar playing is probably some of his best work ever.
When so many older bands struggle with new albums never matching the quality of their heyday, Treat just seem to get better as time goes on and come the end of the year, ‘The Endgame’ is likely to be on many best-of lists.