CD Review: Pretty Maids “Pandemonium”

Danish heavy metal act Pretty Maids are back with their 13th studio album, “Pandemonium”. Don’t be fooled by the dainty name: these guys will clean house alright – in fact, they may even bring it down. “Pandemonium” is a blast of thunderous rock energy that will rattle your doors as well as your conscious. Lyrically, Pretty Maids tends to aim higher than your average rock band, touching on politically relevant events and inducing you to think about your role in the world. But they are not below cranking out some good natured love song such as the current single, “Little Drops of Heaven”. In fact, it is times likes those that make the band accessible to more than metalheads.

“I think this new record shows the band in its finest moment”, says singer Ronnie Atkins “that’s definitely our best effort in many years and the spirit in the band is higher than ever”. The intensity on “Pandemonium” certainly is palpable, but all the bombast in the world means nothing if you don’t have a great hook in the song – and this is where “Pandemonium” comes up short. The performances and vocals are downright amazing at times, but I struggle to remember many of the songs that I just heard because most are not grounded in a strong enough hook. Some songs come close – the title track for example – it has a decent chorus but there is too much self-indulgent instrumentation in-between. Exceptions to this include “Little Drops of Heaven” (a superb choice for a single), “Final Day of Innocence”, “Old Enough To Know”, and “Breathless”. These four songs are truly great and I wish the CD were full of them.

“Pandemonium” is out on May 14th in Europe and June 8th in the US.

iPOD-worthy: 3, 5, 8, 10

Pretty Maids on MySpace. Official site.