Out now on Frontiers Records

Pretty Maids have been on a pretty strong run, culminating in 2010’s excellent “Pandemonium”.

On this year’s “Motherland” most of the typical PM elements are included, but unfortunately there’s been a fair amount of contemporary melo-metal injected into the proceedings.

Whereas the Maids used to have the perfect balance between keys and guitars, the former have now taken over the mix. I suppose the Nightwish generation will love those big washes of synthesized tone, but I’m less impressed. The cod Harry Potter interlude “Confession” might raise an eyebrow or two.

That’s not to say this is a bad album. These guys usually manage to craft strong tunes and there’s no denying their skills as instrumentalists. Despite the keyboard overdose, “The Iceman” is a killer song. The following track, “Sad To See You Suffer” is as trite as it gets though…

“Motherland” is a subdued release. Ronnie Atkins and Ken Hammer sound restrained and the overall energy vibe seems low, despite the obvious attempts at contemporary heaviness. The title track is about the only one that comes close to capturing classic Pretty Maids intensity. Take it up a notch for the next one guys, and don’t overthink it.

Rating – 75%
Review by Sancho


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