Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pretty Maids-Motherland

Frontiers Records

Danish hard rock band Pretty Maids, whose debut-album (1984's "Red, Hot and Heavy") I adore, have come a long way since forming back in 1981. While their debut album was solid heavy metal the band has moved into more of a melodic rock/melodic hard rock direction. The last album, 2010's "Pandemonium", was solid all-around (Metal Mark actually reviewed it if anyone is interested) and "It Comes Alive", the group's 2012 live album, had me smiling with it's smooth mixture of melodic metal, hard rock and AOR. In a sense "Motherland" is like the band's last live album-it's smooth, easy on the ears and again mixes melodic metal, hard rock and AOR. And it does it almost effortlessly. The album's first single actually leads things off.
"Mother of All Lies", while awash in keyboards, still has a rough rock vibe going for it. Of course nearly every song on "Motherland" has keyboards so it's either deal with it or go home I guess. Thankfully guitarist Ken Hammer keeps things hard driving (for the most part) and the album rocks through cuts like "The Iceman",  "Hooligan",  "Who What Where When Why" and "Wasted". "Sad to See You Suffer", the album's second single, is a quasi ballad (for the real deal check out "Bullet for You") and "Infinity" is European epic metal by way of AOR. "I See Ghosts"  tries to rock out, but feels somewhat half-finished. But "Why So Serious" is surprising heavy in a gritty hard rock kind of way and the title cut flirts with traditional heavy metal so tracks like this more then makes up for the occasional misstep. So, the band does jump around a bit, mixing it up if you will. Is it as strong of an album as "Pandemonium" was? That's a tough call. There's some great numbers for sure with the only dud being the cut "I See Ghosts". All in all that's pretty good I'd say so yeah, maybe it is as good as "Pandemonium".

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