|Review: Pretty Maids - Louder Than Ever|
|Louder Than Ever|
Label: Frontiers Records
Year released: 2014
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: July 27, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
for:Louder Than Ever
Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (4 Votes)
I remember Denmark's Pretty Maids from the 80s for a couple of reasons; the decidedly non-Heavy Metal band name and the fun Heavy/Power Metal album Future World. It is really hard to understand why these guys never broke to a wider audience back in the day when so many crappy bands enjoyed more success. The United States – who can explain it? Anyway, these Danes have been soldiering on since 1981 with guitarist Ken Hammer and vocalist Ronnie Atkins the holdovers from the band's early days. Louder than Ever is the 14th studio album released during the band's long career and even though it features mostly re-recordings of older material and only four new songs, I'll bet most fans outside of Denmark haven't heard any of them so it is as good as brand new. The sound hasn't changed much since Future World with big choruses, melodic riffs, tasteful keyboards (something that set Pretty Maids apart back in the 80s) and a knack for catchy songwriting. The production is obviously bigger and cleaner than anything we ever got on our cassettes back in the day but this is still definitely Pretty Maids with Atkins clear vocals and Hammer's smooth playing. "Deranged" is the blow to the head right out of the gate and reminds me a bit of Hammerfall's Infected-era stuff with gritty guitars and depressing lyrical themes. Pretty Maids explores the negative side of humanity further on "Nuclear Boomerang" and "Virtual Brutality" but also shows why they've won a couple of Danish Grammy awards (if Metal-Archives is to be believed) on radio-friendly tracks like "With These Eyes," the excellent "Wake Up to the Real World" and the newly written "A Heart Without a Home."
As the name clearly implies, this isn't a band for fans of the extreme forms of Heavy Metal. Louder Than Ever is shiny, glossy and smooth and that is where Pretty Maids is at their best, so if you like your music with a strong melodic bent and a bit of Hard Rock sensibility, this is an album for you.
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|Review: Future World (reviewed by 4th Horseman)|
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