Out now on Frontiers Records

While their debut “Red Hot And Heavy” was something of a cult classic, I remember Pretty Maids from the quite good but rather commercial “Future World” album. Keyboard heavy, with a clear nod to Europe and other bands of the time. Pretty Maids always retained more of a metallic edge though, not in the least because of Ronnie Atkins’ gruff voice.  The band has continued releasing albums on a regular basis, most of which I have to admit passed below my radar. After renewing my acquaintance with the band with the very good “Wake Up To The Real World”, I’m now presented with their new album “Pandemonium”.

Pretty Maids have achieved the perfect balance between guitars and keys. There’s heavy riffs galore, yet the keyboard parts are a kind of master class on how to use this instrument in the context of a heavy rock band. Atkins’ voice may be something of an acquired taste though.

Opening track “Pandemonium” is a bruiser. Keyboard heavy, yes, but heavy in all other respects as well!  The band has managed to keep its sound current, yet still retains its own identity. Heavy guitars coupled to very perceptible keyboards and an easily identifiable singer. “Little Drops Of Heaven” illustrates this rather well.

Some Teutonic metal influences have snuck in (“It Comes At Night” for instance), but never to the point where they’re disturbing. Think Sinner with more keyboards. “Old Enough To Know” and “Breathless” are classic semi-ballads.

A strong album by anyone’s standards.

Rating – 86%
Review by Sancho 


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