#TrickOrTreat A Creepy Night Live

14 min read

Band: Trick or Treat
Title: A Creepy Night Live
Label: Scarlet Records
Release date: 08 December 2023
Country: Italy
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording

Trick or Treat is definitely one of the most incredible Italian power metal bands of all time. Today, I have the privilege of reviewing their latest masterpiece, “A Creepy Night Live”, an essential live performance that every power metal enthusiast should listen to.

This extraordinary concert was recorded to commemorate their 20-year journey of triumph. It encompasses 13 mesmerizing tracks and serves as a supporting act for their highly acclaimed 2022 album, “Creepy Symphonies” feating Chiara Tricarico and the awesome Michele Luppi in vocals and Luca Cabri on guitars for the final track. As a bonus, the studio version of “When the Lights Fade Out (Santa’s in Trouble)” featuring the immensely talented Tommy Johansson, renowned vocalist and musician from Majestica and Sabaton, is included.

This journey kicks off with the enchanting “Intro” which captures the eerie atmosphere through the sounds of whistling wind, haunting keyboard notes, distant church bells, and the unsettling cawing of a flock of crows. A chilling choir beckons us, demanding a choice: “trick or treat,” demanding an offering to satisfy hunger. It doesn’t matter if you don’t… or the food or your neck will be the banquet. Immediately after the “Creepy Symphony” is unleashed, telling us the story of trapped souls from centuries past trying to escape and face indifference in a world dominated by digital distractions. As Halloween night progresses, a terrifying symphony of skeletons and monsters echoes through the streets, intertwining with the unsuspecting fun of trick-or-treaters. A spooky story unfolds amid a combination of spectral dance, chaos, and candy: a hauntingly beautiful story, filled with mysticism and horror.

Exquisite song, power metal in all its essence, with double tempo in the rhythmic base in charge of bassist Leone Villani Conti and Luca Setti in drums, delicious guitar harmonizations in the hands of Guido Benedetti and Luca Venturelli, and the imposing and pristine voice of the giant Italian master Alessandro Conti – a spectacle himself, owner of one of the best power metal voices in the world. All this is happening during 5:59 minutes, and it is just the beginning!

The cacophony of many news broadcasts, heralding the opening of Pandora’s box: crimes, environmental pollution, wars, and diseases marks the commencement of the immaculate “Have a nice judgment day” lasting 04:48’. Amid this apocalyptic scenario, we as a society contemplate the collapse that we have caused, lamenting our failure to heed the warnings of those who fought to reveal the truth. Running out of time and having no chance to undo our destiny, we put on our sunglasses to watch the world burn, we put on our best clothes and relax, toasting – paradoxically – to the Day of our Judgment.

Noteworthy are Alessandro’s voice nuances and his roller coaster of low and high doubt, a jubilant experience despite the somber topics narrated by the lyrics. The song’s slower tempo and structure, reminiscent of Derdian’s “Strange Journey”, beckon us to leap, raise our fists, and sing out loud, perhaps, loud enough to make the world listen to the inner warning and reverse the end, avoiding our judgment day.

The captivating “Loser Song” begins its 05:26 minutes with a march-like melody, incredible harmonies, and exquisite bridge, with background guitars masterfully “singing a duet” – yes, not only Alessandro sings alike Gods here, but also those beautiful guitars do. The bass provides a solid conceptual foundation and never fails to impress… The drums showcase their versatility, alternating between acceleration, deceleration, and counterpoint. The culmination of the song comes with Conti delivering a breathtaking display of his lyrical singing prowess, effortlessly hitting exhilarating high notes that both excite and overwhelm the listener. It is truly a masterpiece in every sense of the word.

The story behind tells us about the societal pressures and expectations surrounding success, the bias about a predetermined timeline and conformist ideals, and how these socio-typical prejudices can influence the way we see ourselves, over-demanding us to fit into that model otherwise you are a loser and reason for laughter and ridicule.

This is just part of the story though. As the song progresses it takes us on a cathartic journey where we finally understand how healthy is to send external expectations and others’ opinions to hell and focus on doing what brings us together, on pursuing what makes us genuinely happy- screw the rest! This empowering message resonates deeply, reminding us to embrace our individuality and prioritize our well-being over societal expectations.

There is a sort of romantic, yet powerful essence in the captivating “Aquarius Diamond Dust”, track number four lasting 05:27’. Mid-slow tempo, melodic guitar harmonies, and pristine riffs so delightfully characteristic of Italian power metal, yet reminiscent of the iconic sound of 90s’ Helloween are the set of features that make this song a beautiful and meaningful experience that is truly worth embracing.

The story is a journey of resilience and personal growth, exploring the importance of overcoming challenges such as breakups and the passage of time. It highlights the awakening of self-awareness and the power within us to confront and conquer internal fears, including unexpected brain ghosts that emerge without warning. Moreover, the song charminlgy portrays the rain and the formation of the rainbow as a beautiful metaphor for the way pain strengthens, transforms, and makes the spirit stronger. Winter drops its cold cloaks, freezing the tears, from which emerges unbreakable strength and resistance, as much as diamonds. It talks about pain and also about the promise of liberation from its clutches.

Have you ever felt the overwhelming desire to break free from everything and escape? Have you ever yearned to change your destiny and reclaim what has been taken from you, even if it means facing danger and the possibility of death?

These thought-provoking questions form the foundation of “The Great Escape”, track 5 which lasts 05:15’.

The song’s musicality gives me a sense of sanctuary and provides me both a good dose of high energy and an unstoppable desire to headbang while swiftly strumming the guitar or being in the middle of the crowd jumping and singing with the heart in my throat.

With its fast-paced double tempo, lively melodic riffs, and the perfectly synchronized bass and drums playing at an exhilarating yet somewhat frenzied speed, this track captivates both the heart and the ears, Alessandro performing spotlessly, exuberantly, and the keyboards creating an atmosphere that unites everything perfectly make this track one of my favorites from the álbum. It’s a testament to my love for power metal and its ability to evoke a profound emotional connection.

The single metal ballad from this show is “Tears Against Your Smile”. I lack enough words to describe the perfection, beauty, and depth of this track. I would advise caution if you are currently going through a painful period related to the loss of a loved one or a breakup. However, the heartfelt lyrics could also serve as a cathartic experience.

So much surprise, so much pain, despair, and love are transmitted in this track due to the unexpected departure of that loved one for we were unable to notice the “tears in a smile” and the hell she or he was living deep inside, so bad that they just could not bear the weight of life and one decided to end the suffering, silently but irremediably.

The lump in the throat is inevitable. The image of immeasurable pain is transmitted in such a perfect way that it is difficult for even the hardest bone to crack not to shed even a small tear.

This song and its emotional depth execution – with the beautiful Chiara Tricarico (“Moonlight Haze”, “Ravenword”, “Sound Storm”, “Temperance”, “Teodasia”) in an unforgettable duet with Alessandro Conti making your skin crawl, a soft intro with beautiful arpeggios on acoustic guitar, the keyboard providing an atmosphere so precise and emotional that it brings tears to your eyes. Then it gives way to a memorable power metal ballad, imposing and heartfelt riffs, slow tempo rhythmic base. Without a doubt incredibly beautiful, and one of the best power metal ballads that I have personally heard in my life. In brief, astonishing, and overwhelming.

The next song is “Cloudrider”. A beautiful 05:10 minute journey that recalls the tranquility of nature. We encounter an injured bird, inspiring both the healing of the group and the chance to make new friends. We are introduced to the enigmatic “Cloudrider”, driving a journey in search of soulmates and a future without tears. Then the Cloudrider leaves, giving us a new mission and the discovery of a burrow, solidarity and the desire for survival emerge. “Dear Cloudrider, forever a friend!” is repeated throughout.

We are advised to release captive rabbits with caution after coming upon a location housing them -rabbits are a crystal clear analogy to current people in real life who live their existence as prisoners of a sick system. The cloudrider’s unwavering friendship is a touching aspect of this exciting journey.

This track amusingly begins with Alessandro asking the audience if they want super fast or mid-tempo songs. “FAST!” is the general answer, but he playfully says that they already played a lot of fast songs the day before so now come mid-tempo ones. Great! Then the song itself begins, with brief solo bass riffs accompanied by the drums, and then the guitars join in, creating a refreshing melodic game that is reminiscent of the Van Halen sound for a few seconds. The bass is the protagonist in the first seconds of the first verse, giving a very elegant touch in my personal opinion. The song continues captivatingly fluid, yet its bridge is to a certain extent a point of rest and recovery of energy to continue enjoying this wonderful journey.

The following lovely track is “Hungarian Hangover” lasting 04:12 minutes. It talks about the hangover- similar to the one I had the Friday right before Christmas.

The “Hungarian Hangover” is an integrating element that presents us with the feeling of the band’s musicians-applicable to every band equally. That feeling that even though years have passed on stage, years making music and having a good time, even though age has caught up with us, there is still a long show coming soon there are still reasons to celebrate life and music, that the good memories associated to this beautiful journey called metal music will always be and are there in our hearts and serve as a refuge for us in the darkest moments of life.

Tonight we will not be sober, tonight there will be party and life, tonight music will be played!

The song is power metal in the Halloween vibe, starting with lively bass and guitar riffs in a lovely catchy harmony, double tempo rhythmic base, slower along, and super fast by the last chorus. A portion of Aerosmith‘s “Walk this Way” first riffs are played briefly then. Funny!

“Libra: one hundred Dragons forcé” along its 04:07 minutes is one of the most sweet-sounding tracks in the show in my view.

The song starts with a medieval-style keyboard intro, accompanied by violins, set at a mid-fast tempo that picks up speed after a few moments. Then the music explodes in a catchy melody that invites you to jump and sing out loud all along with fierce drum beats and delightfully polished riffs. Then, Alessandro starts singing in his mid-range voice in the initial lines before elevating the pitch to reach his wonderful well-known high notes. The song alternates between slower and faster tempos in the verses and the chorus in turn, getting slower and faster. resulting in an exceptionally tuneful composition.

The story depicts a deja vu related to knights, war, death, chaos, and forgotten tales and the certainty that madness will not reign again if the knights open their minds and hearts, knowing that the kingdom of Athena is about to emerge-likewise our journey in life: if we believe in our inner power and stay united shadows and madness will fade, because united we are “the strength of a hundred dragons”.

“Take Your Chance” brings in an illustrious guest: the towering Michelle Luppi, collaborating in a memorable duet with Alessandro.

Clocking in at 05;37’, the song starts with melodic guitar riffs that, in my opinion, echo Van Halen and Secret Sphere. It smoothly transitions into a classic heavy metal with rock elements, maintaining a rock tempo and featuring elegant, sweet-sounding riffs. A special mention goes to the vocals, which, as expected, are spine-tingling due to the flawless performances by Alessandro and Michelle.

Such extraordinary musical gifts from Italy to the world!

The track is a powerful and profound exploration of self-discovery, self-reflection, resilience, and the pursuit of dreams in the face of adversity and the fatigue of challenging societal norms. It speaks to those who choose to live life on their terms, resisting the imposition of a standardized norm. It serves as a call not to fear but to discover our virtues and talents, to overcome and not succumb to the ghosts of misfortune, enabling us to seize all the opportunities that arise in our lives so that we can “take our chance.”

However, despite the perfection in performance and vocals, I must rate this track, amazingly, ¡as one of the least appealing to my taste – sue me! In my defense, I can say that the voices of Michelle and Alessandro are so perfect, beautiful, powerful, and similar in some aspects that when they sing together, there is a sort of blending of their voices that does not allow for proper enjoyment. Perhaps it’s too much perfection for my ears.

The story of some rabbits, a hill, a burrow serving as a prison, and the opportunity coupled with a desperate desire to escape to freedom is encapsulated in the song “Rabbits Hill”. It is one of my favorites, although almost all hold a special place in my heart.

At 05:39, the song kicks off with a bass/drums solo introduction and brief riffs that surprisingly evoke memories of Green Day and The Offspring. It then seamlessly transitions into the exhilaratingly fast double tempo characteristic of the power metal genre that I love so much, featuring swift dynamics in the verses and choruses.

Alessandro shines in an impeccable, melodic, and powerful vocal performance.

The imagery of the rabbits ready to climb the last steps to finally reach the hill- and freedom- all united and joyful, all brave and decided to live a beautiful, fair life for everyone touches me deep inside. I am Chilean and this could have been perfectly the story of Chilean people during the social outbreak of 2019. All united, climbing up to the top of the hill- an analogy of the social injustice that has damaged us for so many years, the “hill” of classism, hopelessness, and indifference that for a while seemed to be reached and trespassed. Unfortunately, nothing changed and we remain trapped under that hill.

The catchy and beautiful track “Crazy” -another of my favorites-lasts 04:32′ and is track number 12.

It successfully conveys the emotion of millions of people stuck in the monotonous home-work-home routine, constantly in a hurry, rushing from place to place, struggling with a boss who demands productivity and speaks loudly.

You and I can perfectly be one of those poor souls, by the way.

And, out of the blue, we realize that this is not a life, that it goes against our plans. The constant routine provokes us with a feeling of madness and our only desire is for no one to demand a shit from us, to find peace and leisure. That, or creating another happier life instead, doing the things that fulfill us before we become “that” decrepit old man- as a good friend of mine once told me.

A proper anthem for our current era, doubtless! By the way, I take this very personally, many to-do things before becoming “that old woman”!

Melodic, spotless riffs, drums at fast tempo evoking the sensation of a chase – or of a car ride along the shore of the beach, whichever you prefer. Alessandro, in turn, sings in his middle-low register at the beginning of the first lines, then raises his wonderful voice to the heavens, shifting up and down impeccably.

Something that stands out is the bridge of the song, happening from 02:17 to 02:38. It’s a real blast! It captures the invigorating and delightful sensation of a prison door swinging open, the arrival of freedom breaking the chains of routine.

Wonderful track!

The next track is also one of my favorites. “Like Donald Duck” during 05:52’ showcases impressive and unmistakably perfect power metal at its core. It features varied shifts in speed and tempo, luminous and captivating riffs in charge of Luca Cabri, and exciting vocal performances that encourage us to sing at the top of our lungs. The outro is a magical rendition with a majestic drum roll and fast, impressive riffs that give you chills and fill your chest with joy, for it evokes childhood happiness about the excitement of getting a color TV and enjoying cartoons surrounded by friends.

However a warning is given despite the positive feelings: please exercise caution while at the market, as there may be children handling ink. Suddenly and inadvertently, they could stain your new clothes, potentially triggering the release of your concealed criminal instincts. In my view, this is a wise metaphor for the contrast between the innocence and joy of childhood (the ink stains) and the tough reality of adulthood, which focuses is material stuff (represented by the market and the carpet outside). So, let us try not to kill our inner child by pursuing things and forgetting to live, laugh, and love.

At the end of this marvelous journey is “When the lights fade out” feating the awesome Tommy Johanson (Majestica, Sabaton) in vocals. This track lasts 05:25 ‘and is my top 1 from the álbum.

Santa is in trouble, the elves are about to go on strike and the reindeer are depressed. The culprit behind this disaster is e-commerce, which has robbed the magic of the Christmas gift-giving process, and has taken jobs away from the elves who complain to Santa about their poor working conditions. Everything seems to be lost, but some still keep alive the hope that things will go back to the way they were before, that Santa will once again be the protagonist of Christmas working side by side with elves and reindeer and thus returning joy to the world in Christmas Eve.

This interesting lyric portrays the current duality that occurs with technology and its impact on the world of work, challenging us to find the balance point so that technology is our ally to build a better world and does not become our executioner by replacing us and leaving us out of the game without the possibility of working. That way, Santa won’t be in trouble anymore – and neither will we.

The intro starts with magical bell keyboards, a shining Christmas carol music played in guitar riffs after a few seconds, then the purest power metal is performed majestically in lovely super fast drums tempo during the major part of the song. Vocals are performed superbly by both Alessandro Conti and Tommy Johansson-such an incredible voice he has! Both singers show some operatic voice features that provide such a perfect, breathtaking atmosphere that, again, you get goosebumps throughout the song and make you want to sing at full volume. The bridge echoes the intro of the álbum, in the Halloween’s essence – guitar and keyboard flat notes that break the scheme of major notes in the melody, giving a brief sinister but tasty turn to the work, for then returning “to light” of only major notes, finishing with epic super fast drums tempo, pure super fast power metal and slowing until fading all the instruments, getting a creepy voice in charge of the final portion. Perfect, wonderful song and an awesome way to close this exciting chapter.

In summary, “A Creepy Night Live” not only captures the spirit of Trick or Treat‘s 20-year musical ride but also involves fans in a dynamic live spectacle that cements the band’s legacy in the pantheon of exceptional live performances. Therefore I rate this álbum: 10/10 Elyna Steel

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10/10 Immortal Classic
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