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Pretty Maids - Motherland Award winner

Pretty Maids
Motherland
by Katarzyna Zakolska / Drago at 18 March 2013, 5:37 PM

KATARZYNA ZAKOLSKA (10/10)

PRETTY MAIDS is melodic Heavy Metal band from Denmark. They have been one of the oldest in their area, being around since 1981, and have quite a payload of releases behind them. “Motherland”, signed to Frontiers Records, is the band's proud new release. This is something that you all have been waiting for.

Opener, "Mother Of All Lies", is totally amazing with heavy riffs & magnificent keyboards, outright catchy & strong melodies outbreaks within the mind, pretty memorable. The rhythm section is so tight, guitar solo is explosive, chorus is silky smooth, simply epic keep it a bit commercial. “Wasted” and "Infinity", a bit modern in direction, enjoying fine elements provided by the keyboards and crushing riffs. Within the ballad of the two I felt a twinge of NICKELBACK laying around. “Motherland” punches in a faster pace, surging in the vein of HELLOWEEN and STRATOVARIUS with clear, fast drums & melodic chorus with an incredible amount power. Keyboards augment great flavor & another well written solo, this is perfection. There is an enigmatic mood on “Why So Serious?”, musically reminding METALLICA, especially due to the riffing and drumming styles. "I See Ghosts"'s intro had me thinking of the promo songs of boxers / wrestlers entering the ring with low tuned guitars riffs, but with magnificent keys generating a cryptic disposition. Ronnie Atkins has a seamless voice, strong, clear but also placid when needed. "Bullet For You" is one of his best performances no doubt, as supplementary there is a terrific wall of sound, plenty of melodies and a wonderful solo moment. “Who What Where When Why” is  awesome, one of the best on the list with a one fine chorus  with memorable melodies. “Hooligan” coming down as tougher, rather diverse in its rhythms, kind of the band's earlier stages. Also there are the faster "The Iceman" with good show of guitar force and keys and “To Fool A Nation” where there is the feel of the modern sound influenced by the 80s. Second single from this album is "Sad To See You Suffer", very catchy, energetic chorus, a cool listener in the vein of DOKKEN and GOTTHARD.

New album of PRETTY MAIDS is totally brilliant! Many catchy melodies and experience of musicians give listeners perfectly mix. Very good production and modern sound, high level of playing, clear & huge instruments with power & heavier riffs. Surely everyone who is a fan of PRETTY MAIDS and love songs with Melodic Metal will fall in love with this CD.

DRAGO (10/10)

Danish legends PRETTY MAIDS never achieved the success they rightfully deserve. They have been releasing amazing material since their inception in 1981. Their catalog is incredibly consistent and jaw dropping. Their records “Red Hot and Heavy”, “Future World” and 2010s “Pandemonium” ranks up there with some of the best material of the last 30 years in Rock and Metal. Their latest record “Motherland”, released through Italy’s Frontiers Records is another heavy melodic masterpiece.

2010s release “Pandemonium” was such an amazing record that the thought of following it up was a concern not only for the band but fans and critics alike. Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief as they have done it again as “Motherland” captures PRETTY MAIDS at their best. Like all PRETTY MAIDS releases the songwriting is outstanding and every song is remarkably strong.

Ronnie Atkins is an amazing soulful singer who seems to get better with age. His unique blend of melody and raspiness is unmatched and his voice is one of a kind. Founding guitarist Ken Hammer blends acrobatic guitar playing with a sense of melody that fits his songs brilliantly and is another unsung hero that can play with precision and emotion.

Jacob Hansen’s production is crisp and jumps off the speakers. Returning to work with the band after the success of 2010s “Pandemonium” shows the partnership still is the perfect pairing. The mix is layered, separated and Hansen is quickly becoming the go to producer in Rock and Metal.

First single “Mother of All Lies”, “Why So Serious?” and the title track show the band perfecting their heavier side. The title track is an up-tempo pounder that grooves, crushes and the chorus is pure perfection. The keyboards incorporate a subtle arpeggio sequence that backs Atkins as he sings a melody that is infectious. “Why So Serious?” is a haunting captivating chugger that blends melody with syncopated riffing, the biggest headbanger on the record.

While “Sad to See You Suffer”, “Bullet For You” and the excellent “Wasted” is the perfect counterbalance and shows off their melodic essence. “Bullet For You” showcases a tender Atkins at his best. The harmonies are luscious and fill out the vocals beautifully. “Wasted” closes the record and does an excellent job of blending Morten Sandager’s keyboard playing into the songwriting. Again, the melodies dominate and paint the perfect landscape. All of these songs have amazing choruses that will stick in your head long after the record is over. Ever since their cover of John Sykes “Please Don’t Leave Me”; Pretty Maids are destined to play the rock ballad. They nail it.

30 years into their career, “Motherland” finds PRETTY MAIDS unbelievably at their creative peak. Not too many bands are writing some of their strongest material thirteen albums into their career. Surprisingly on par with the fantastic “Pandemonium”, it is time for PRETTY MAIDS to be catapulted into the spotlight and be rewarded for their remarkable career. Let's hope that they have another thirteen albums left in them to compose because they have found their creative groove. “Motherland” contains all of the attributes that make PRETTY MAIDS outstanding. I can only hope that now is the time for them to launch a proper North American tour.

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Mother Of All Lies
2. To Fool A Nation
3. Confession
4. The Iceman
5. Sad To See You Suffer
6. Hooligan
7. Infinity
8. Why So Serious?
9. Motherland
10. I See Ghosts
11. Bullet For You
12. Who What Where When Why
13. Wasted
Lineup:
Ronnie Atkins – Vocals
Ken Hammer – Guitars
Morten Sandager – Keyboards
Rene Shades – Bass
Allan Tschicaja – Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records
     


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