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Pretty Maids - 2010 Pandemonium




ARTIST: Pretty Maids
ALBUM: Pandemonium
LABEL: Frontiers
SERIAL: FRCD 459
YEAR: 2010

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Ronnie Atkins - vocals * Ken Hammer - guitars * Ken Jackson - bass * Allan Tschicaja - drums * Morten Sandager - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Pandemonium * 02 I.N.V.U * 03 Little Drops Of Heaven * 04 One World One Truth * 05 Final Days Of Innocence * 06 Cielo Drive * 07 It Comes At Night * 08 Old Enough To Know * 09 Beautiful Madness * 10 Breathless * 11 It Comes At Night (remix)

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.prettymaids.dk


Background
I really should've reviewed this thing months ago, but it's only until others start raving about it that you sit up and take notice. Before 'Pandemonium', Pretty Maids had been off the radar for some years. 2006 in fact, courtesy of 'Wake Up To The Real World'. The subject matter this time around is similar to before, taking into account the nonsense that envelops global politics, foreign policy, east vs west, islam vs christianity.. good vs bad. I'm sure you know the deal. But hearing it wrapped up in heavy but melodic songs makes the whole conspiracy theory rather more palatable, instead of listening to George Noory or Alex Jones rabbit on.


The Songs
Our favourite global politician Barack Obama opens the account on the well-named 'Pandemonium' announcing that man-made problems can be fixed by man. Admirable intention yes, but I don't think the world is listening. When the Pretty Maids come barnstorming through the door, their powerful delivery is far more effective. Sorry Mr President.

'I.N.V.U' has a modern context to it, still decidely heavy, but changeable enough with gritty guitars and melodies on the chorus.

Some nice trancey keyboard textures announce 'Little Drops Of Heaven', and it's easy to see why this was chosen as the album's single. Very likeable.

'One World One Truth' is Pretty Maids at their best, and harks back to their classic 'Future World' period. Some growling guitar lines and with Ronnie Atkins doing what he does best, this one is an album highlight.

'Final Days Of Innocence' sort of reminded me of Swedes Platitude in parts. The arrangement especially, with chunky guitar riffs, interesting keyboard melodies are all very similar.

Every Pretty Maids album has a heavier than thou moment, and on this album, 'Cielo Drive' fits the mould. Of course, many of us know that this song refers to the infamous 1969 murder of actress Sharon Tate and friends by members of the Charles Manson Family. This is the sort of song Metallica probably should've written!

'It Comes At Night' has horror movie written all over it, but I feel this one comes in a notch lower than the rest of the album.

Pretty Maids move into melodic (near AOR) territory with the lush 'Old Enough To Know', with acoustic guitar lines and rich harmonies filling out the choruses.

'Beautiful Madness' is an intense affair, slower structure but with lead weight guitar riffs and a dabble of keyboards to colour up the picture.

AOR fans should enjoy 'Breathless', with majestic keyboards, acoustic verses, and the obligatory fat choruses to round it out. This one also has 'radio' qualities screaming out, but I doubt it got that far.


In Summary
Even though the band took a four year vacation, they've come back with tsunami-like vengeance, and not since 'Sin Decade' have the band sounded so good. Still, I feel that 'Pandemonium' sits lower in the pecking order of some of their previous albums ('Future World', Sin Decade', Stripped' even) but you can't help but feel that the band are back in good form, and this album is well worth the investigation.


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Comments

#1 | gdazegod on February 09 2011 12:35:20
YouTube Video:
#2 | DEMONAOR on February 09 2011 16:08:55
Pretty good album from the danes.
#3 | george_the_jack on February 11 2011 19:21:08
Too dark and heavy compared with the albums of their past... Hm..Don't know.Haven't gotten into it even after several spins.
#4 | Jez on July 20 2011 12:19:15
I was going to pass on this one, but really glad I didn't now, as this is an excellent album. The first 5 tracks are all superb and one of the best opening halves of a disc I have heard in a long time - nice and varied from the all out rocking opener, to the more AOR'ish 'Little Drops Of Heaven and 'I.N.V.U''. Maybe a couple of fillers later on, but it finishes on a real high with 'Breathless' and 'It Comes At Night'. Belting disc.

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