PRETTY MAIDS – Motherland (2013)
Danish legends PRETTY MAIDS is one of my favorite bands of all time, never making a false move and always re-inventing themselves with each album.
Well, Pretty Maids did it again: their new record “Motherland” released through Italy’s Frontiers Records today is another hard rockin’ melodic masterpiece.
A lot has happend over the time: beside some line-up changes, lately Pretty Maids slightly blended their traditional Melodic Hard Rock sound with some Melodic Metal overtones in their previous CD ‘Pandemonium’.
This makeover was a step in the right direction, because the band sounded more fresh and powerful than ever, with an updated approach. Soundwise “Motherland” continues where ‘Pandemonium’ left off.
But this is no surprise, because the new record was produced by Jakob Hansen again. So you can expect a very good production with proper pressure. Maybe everything sounds a bit darker this time.
The opening track “Mother Of All Lies” is representative for the whole album, that’s why it’s a good decision to be the first single. The song is an up-tempo pounder that grooves, crushes and the chorus is pure perfection. It has a very modern sound with lots of synth effects in it.
Speaking about the keyboards, you will find them on nearly every single track on “Motherland” and they are very dominant and pushy. I love the way there were used.
Follower “To Fool A Nation” has a remarkable guitar work, a haunting captivating chugger that blends melody with syncopated riffing, the biggest headbanger on the record.
Next arrives “Confession” some kind of intro for “The Iceman”. This tune has a really mysterious mood and great atmosphere. In fact the whole album has lots of atmosphere.
Next track “Sad To See You Suffer” is the second single and a typical radio-friendly Melodic Hard Rock ballad, really charming and melodious.
“Hooligan” is a great straight-ahead rocker with cool gang-shouts and heavy riffs to die for, while “Infinity” brings some kind of epicness with it.
“Why So Serious” is definitely one of the highlights of this CD. This one is catchy, but also very heavy and the chorus is superb, a clear example of why these Danish musicians are so great.
Another gem is the really melodic “Bullet For You”, an amazing half-ballad with a stunning chorus and a terrific guitar solo. This all is crowned by the unique pipes of Ronnie Atkins at his best. This man is fantastic. I admire his ability to change his style of singing from moment to moment. His vocal range is huge – from emotional and clear to aggressive and rough. But also the other musicians deliver high quality service here.
I can’t be unbiased here, but the quality of “Motherland” speaks by itself. This is another truly killer album from Pretty Maids, sonically modern yet classic.
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.
“Motherland” is fierce, catchy, heavy, melodic… terrific.
30 years into the business, and this new album finds the Danish band unbelievably at their creative peak. It is time for PRETTY MAIDS to be catapulted into the spotlight and be rewarded for their remarkable career.
01. Mother Of All Lies
02. To Fool A Nation
04. The Iceman
05. Sad To See You Suffer
08. Why So Serious
10. I See Ghosts
11. Bullet For You
12. Who What Where When Why
Ronnie Atkins – vocals
Ken Hammer – guitars
Morten Sandager – keyboards
Rene Shades – bass
Allan Tschicaja – drums
BUY IT !