TRICK OR TREAT – The Legend Of The XII Saints

TRICK OR TREAT - The Legend Of The XII Saints
  • 8.1/10
    TRICK OR TREAT - The Legend Of The XII Saints - 8.1/10


Label: Scarlet Records
Release date: April 24, 2020

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Concept albums are often creative and commercial risks for musicians, even in the Metal community where concept albums appear more commonly than in any other genre. Flip through the collection of any avowed metalhead and one is likely to find at least a few concept albums built around a supernatural event (virtually anything by King Diamond), a deal with the devil (roughly three thousand choices), a hero’s quest (Iron Maiden), post-apocalyptic scenario (Voivod) or social conspiracy (Queensrÿche, Megadeth). Flip through the catalogue of Italy’s Trick Or Treat and you will find not one but two concept albums built around warring rabbits. Rabbits’ Hill Part 2 was released in 2016, four years(!) after Rabbits’ Hill Part 1, concluding TOT’s metalized saga inspired by Richard Adams’ novel Watership DownRe-Animated followed in 2018, which despite a lack of unifying narrative is technically still a concept album, comprised entirely of television theme song covers.

Trick Or Treat continue their novel, borderline wacky path with their newest release The Legend of the XII Saints, inspired by the Saint Seiya anime series. Saint Seiya began in the 80s as a manga series and has since made the jump to anime, films, novels, video games, and even musicals. The Trick Or Treat album focuses on a specific anime branch of the phenomenon, namely The Legend of the Twelve Gold Knights of the Zodiac, and as such has twelve zodiacally-themed songs book-ended by a short intro and the outro “Last Hour (The Redemption”).

Despite the esoteric concept, the music offered is instantly engaging. “ARIES Stardust Revolution” kicks off with a frenetic pace, drums and twin guitars launching into a headlong aural assault that sets both the tone of the album and the basics of the concept. “TAURUS Great Horn” has a deeper, grinding drive, a more traditional approach than the all-out Power Metal kick of the first song. The contrast between the two songs gives a solid insight into the range vocalist Alessandro Conti has and his command; he soars effortlessly into the higher ranges but can deliver a low menacing rumble when the music requires. The next tune “GEMINI Another Dimension” features guest vocals from Beast in Black’s Yannis Pappadopolous, continuing TOT’s tradition of featuring several guest musicians on their albums. Sharp fretwork and a rousing trailing chorus make “GEMINI” one of the standout cuts on a strong, solid album. “CAPRICORN Excalibur” is as martial as the title implies; “PISCES Bloody Rose” sets a somber stage with the final knight’s tale. The album wraps with “Last Hour (The Redemption)”, a reverential coda drawing the curtain closed on The Legend of the XII Saints with some fine acoustics and choral chanting.


  • Daniel Waters

    Daniel was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. Iron Maiden’s Piece Of Mind wasn’t the first Metal album he owned, but it was the one that lifted the lid off his soul when he received the record as a gift on his 15th birthday. He's been a Metal fan ever since. He's probably best known as the author of various Young Adult novels such as the Generation Dead series and the ghost story Break My Heart 1,000 Times, now also a major motion picture entitled I Still See You, starring Bella Thorne. Writing and music, especially Heavy Metal music, has always been inextricably linked in his mind and career. His first paid gig doing any type of writing was for Cemetery Dance, where he wrote a horror-themed music column called Dead Beats, and when he was writing the first Generation Dead novel he had a ritual where he started his writing day with a Metal playlist that kicked off with “Crushing Belial” by Shadows Fall.

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