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Trick or Treat - Tin soldiers 4/5

Reviewed: 8-7-09


1. A night in the toyshop
2. Paper dragon
3. Take your chance
4. Freedom
5. Hello moon
6. Elevator to the sky
7. Loser song
8. Tears against your smile
9. Final destination
10. Tin soldiers part I
11. Tin soldiers part II

Trick or Treat are an Italian metal act heavily influenced by Helloween and Gamma Ray; in fact, they began as a cover band inspired by the key elements of those 2 powerful entities. They even released a live CD of said covers in 2003. Like those highly influential bands, their lyrics are very positive, silly, and quite memorable. Even Mike Kiske joins in the fun singing on 2 songs for their sophomore effort 'Tin soldiers' (which follows their 2005 debut 'Evil needs candy too').

Lead vocalist Alessandro Conti is a deadringer for Kiske, as well. Although, if one pays careful attention, he might also detect some Tobias Sammett (Edguy/Avantasia), Fabio Leone (Rhapsody of Fire/Vision Divine), and Michele Luppi (ex-Vision Divine/Killing Touch) vocal attitudes. Michele actually joins him for a duet on the motivational cut "Take your chance".

As can be expected, the music is fast, fun, and truly enjoyable. Any fan of these bands is sure to celebrate their sweet songs, and hallowed anthems. Guitar team Guido Benedetti and Luca Cabri serve at the very altar of worship for Kai Hansen and Michael Weikath, while fellow bassist and songwriter Leone Villani Conti is truly a fan of Markus Grosskopf.

'Tin soldiers' commences with the march of mayhem, and the intro "A night in the toy shop", depicting a whining young boy trying to get his way, characterized by some musical fluctuation. This is followed by the high flying "Paper dolls" which animates the toys, and represents a theme right out of movies like 'Puppet master', 'Doll man', 'Small soldiers', or the recent 'Night at the museum' franchise. Here there tends to be a strong Rhapsody of Fire influence predominating. The CD is not altogether conceptual; however, this ongoing battle between the tin soldiers and dolls is resumed with the last 2 tracks in a humurous manner. The theme being that even in make believe, war is not fun!

"Take your chance" is very uplifting, and follows the 'Pink bubbles go ape' writing fashion. "Freedom" is a furious anthem truly in the vein of 'Land of the free'. "Hello moon" is the first track to feature Mike Kiske in a duet. Kiske sings more like he does on his recent acoustic Helloween endeavour. Sometimes it is difficult to discern his vocals from Alle's.

"Elevator to the sky" has a Roald Dahl (Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator) motif, and some spiritual connotations, as well. Trick or Treat, like several power metal acts, are very concerned with the D.I.Y. mentality of taking responsibility for one's own actions. "Loser song" really emphasizes this very notion. The circus style guitar tightrope string balance is sure to captivate you with it great jest and show of awe.

"Tears against your smile" is a power ballad, the 2nd to feature Kiske. This is very much in the "Tale that wasn't right" meets "The silence" mindset. "Final destinantion" is not so much about the films of the same title; but, more about how one lives one's life accordingly. This epic cut attends to an early Queen reference. Then again, so did early CDs by Gamma Ray like 'Sigh no more' and 'Insanity & genius'.

Overall, Trick or Treat are a band well worth considering. I have not had the pleasure of hearing their 2005 effort 'Evil needs candy too' yet, with it's ridiculous anti-horror artwork and classic caricatures. I have heard their excellent rendition for Cindy Lauper's "Girls just want to have fun", currently at their Myspace page.

I highly recommend discovering this band, who have so much to offer. Take your chance, and treat yourself to their triptych songwriting capabilities, their clever storytelling, and their intense, quirky, joyful music, sure to aid you in rising above all sadness.




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