Pretty Maids‘ history is the history of rising, falling and rising again. Though, if melodic Heavy and Hard Rock were trendy in 80s (the first rise), their successful comeback in 2010 is some kind of phenomenon. Since then the band don’t lean back and now they release their 15-th album Undress Your Madness.
At the same time there is another side of a coin: with Pandemonium release in 2010 the band stepped back off heavy sound, changing it to melodic Hard Rock, commercially successful and radio friendly. Pretty Maids understood their formula to success pretty quickly and the next albums Motherland (2013), Kingmaker (2016) and the newest one Undress Your Madness are made by the same blueprint. Sometimes it seems that all these songs were written in 2010 (or at least the band still uses the ideas, created those days).
However, things could be much simpler: all the songs from these albums were written by vocalist Ronnie Atkins with guitarist Ken Hammer and produced by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Amaranthe, Kobra And The Lotus). Hansen also masterly combines the classic Hard Rock with the modern sound.
The first song “Serpentine” shows to the listener what to expect from the album. These are rhythmical song with melodic choruses and smooth Allan Sørensen’s drums and Rebe Shades’ bass. Ken Hammer’s riffs are not that difficult, but powerful and sometimes they are really interesting. Ronnie Atkins’ raspy voice fully presents in the album; Pretty Maids‘ recognizable vocal still good. Also, Chris Laney’s keyboards adds some electronic sounds very moderately, making songs interesting and, like I said before, the album combines modern and classic Hard Rock sound perfectly. The same thing can be said about the title track “Undress Your Madness” and “Runaway World”.
There are also a couple of heavier songs: fast “If You Want Peace (Prepare For War)” and middle-tempo “Slavedriver”. The first one is a typical Heavy Metal with good riff, catchy chorus and pretty bridge. The second one is balancing between Heavy and Hard Rock with well embedded keyboards and some hooky verses.
Of course there should be a ballad in an album like this. Undress Your Madness have two: “Will You Still Kiss Me (If I See You In Heaven) and “Strength Of A Rose”. Both of them are lyrical, melodic and seems like they are straight from 80s. Yes, it’s pretty obvious, old-fashioned but not boring and there isn’t some intention to skip these tracks.
All in all, Undress Your Madness is another album from Pretty Maids, not bad album at all. Yes, probably it may cause some deja-vu feeling “I already heard this somewhere”, but with this, rhythmic and catchy songs won’t allow you to stay still and I’m sure that a chorus or two will stuck in your head for a long time. So, as programmers and mechanics say: if it works, don’t touch it and don’t change anything.
Undress Your Madness was released on November, eighth via Frontiers Music srl.
P.S. Something like a month ago Ronnie Atkins was diagnosed with a lung cancer and now he is on treatment. We wish Ronnie fast recovery and good luck winning this battle.