Trick or Treat need no introduction and, with the new release, The Unlocked Songs, they deliver a compilation that is a fan must have: covering their twenty years, there are unreleased gems and a sort of ‘b-side’ greatest hits with the added cover of The Misfits ‘Scream’ which is superb interpretation as their trademark metal and melody combine so reliably.
In total there are a dozen lovable and lovely songs from their repertoire. I had to mention a demo from 2004: ‘Like Donald Duck’ starts with the ducking quack before a pop tinged rock song that is damnably catchy and repeat worthy. Other highlights include the sweeping, glorious ‘Sagittarius – Golden Arrow’ in an acoustic/orchestral reading that matches anything Geoff Tate ever did. Although I despise Christmas songs, their jaunty ‘Evil Needs Christmas Too’ is anti-enough and has slide guitar even if it isn’t their normal fare. ‘Heavy Metal Bunga Bunga’ is as daft as it sounds…can’t understand a word but it’s still great fun. ‘Hampshire Landscape’ takes the heavyweight prize with great riffing and guitar phrasing; imagine Maiden with keys and doing a melodic and triumphant instrumental…this could be it! The operatic yet metallic ‘Dragonborn – Skyrim’ is another slice of classy rock with a twist.
This is an album full of the quirkier side of Trick or Treat and is a must-have for existing fans; if you haven’t heard them, this serves up the width and depth of the band but adds the lesser-known side… personally, this is already on repeat as the humour, variation and skill are irresistible.
The Unlocked Songs is out on May 21 via Scarlet Records.