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Album Review: TREAT -TUNGUSKA

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Swedish rockers Treat, formed in 1981 and reformed in 2006, play hard melodic rock. Their last 2 albums ”Coup de Grace” (2010) and ”Ghost of Graceland” (2016) found success with fans and critics alike. Their upcoming album “Tunguska” is set to build on that success.Album released September 14th
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The album opens with “Progenitors”. There’s a long, atmospheric intro that eventually breaks into to a sharp, stabbing riff. You immediately get a taste of the high production quality and I was really impressed with the overall tone and sound of the album. The melodic vocals shine in this song, particularly in the chorus. There’s also some decent backing vocals and a nice solo.

The second song, titled “Always Have, Always Will” has a poppy lead guitar lick and a groovy riff. Overall it’s catchy, it’s upbeat and it’s a lot of fun. Really good song. “Best of Enemies” starts with a moody, prickly guitar line, that moves into a hammering, syncopated riff. It’s groovy and the guitar tone is incredibly crisp throughout. Next up is “Rose of Jericho”. It’s got a more mellow, cleaner intro. It’s got a rustic and gritty feel that blends nicely into a heavier, ascending riff. It drops down again when the vocals come in before building back up to a big chorus.

“Heartmath City” is a little bit filler-ish. I enjoyed the bassline a lot. The bass playing is actually a highpoint throughout the album. Pontus Egborg, who also plays with King Diamond, has a really beefy, prominent style that’s able to hold it’s own amongst a crowd of other instruments. The album features guitars, pianos, keyboards and synths, among others, so for the bass to stand out is a testament to Egborg’s ability. “Creeps” marks the halfway point, it’s got a faster, more straightforward, no frills riff. It’s anice change of pace, but little more than that. “Build the Love” features a keyboard intro. It’s clean, ballad and almost electronic at times. It’s refreshing at this point in the album, challenging expectations, even if only briefly. There’s a big, epic chorus. I really enjoyed this one.

“Man Overboard” follows. The heavy riff contrasts nicely with the high lead intro. The bass carries the verse into a nice, rhythmic pre chorus. The vocals shine in the chorus and there’s  even a synth solo for good measure. Decent. At this point I felt like the album kind of runs out of steam. Up until this point I felt that there was an overabundance of youthful energy driving the album despite the band’s long history. It was fun and upbeat. But it seems to me that the creativity and imagination are toploaded on Tunguska and the final songs are a little bit weak.

“Riptide” is okay. It’s pretty pacey and the bass is nice. But that’s about it. “Tomorrow Never Comes” has a decent piano intro but ultimately feels a little tacked on. “All Bets Are Off” is a riffy track with a reasonably big chorus, but it lacks the spark of the previous tracks.

I was hoping for a solid closer to salvage the end of the album. “Undefeated” was decent. There’s a nice, layered riff. The melodic vocals are great and the chorus is strong, but I just felt that the energy was missing.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Tunguska. The production quality is a huge benefit tothe sound. For a band formed in 1981, Treat have an infectiously youthful energy and fresh sound. Not necessarily breaking any moulds, but adventurous enough to maintain your interest. I couldn’t help but smile and feel uplifted listening to a lot of the album. But ultimately, like the aging rocker in all of us, the energy runs out eventually. The last section of the album fell off a little for me, but not enough to call the album bad. The majority of the album is good enough for me to consider it a success.

Tunguska tracklisting:
1.Progenitors
2. Always Have, Always Will
3. Best Of Enemies
4. Rose Of Jericho
5. Heartmath City
6. Creeps
7. Build The Love
8. Man Overboard
9. Riptide
10. TomorrowNever Comes
11. All Bets Are Off
12. Undefeated

Review by Josh Farrell

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