Danish melodic metal veterans Pretty Maids are back with another hot new slab of music on the Frontiers Records label, this one coming three years after the strong Motherland (with 2014's Louder Than Ever mostly a reworking of old songs by the current line-up) and titled Kingmaker. The line-up of Ronnie Atkins (vocals ), Ken Hammer (guitars), Rene Shades (bass), and Allan Tschicaja (drums) have once again delivered the goods here, with Kingmaker continuing their tradition of marrying crunchy metal riffing with soaring melodic rock hooks for a formula that is instantly memorable and powerful.
The opening 1-2 punch of "When God Took a Day Off" and the title track do a wonderful job of sucking the listener right into this anthem packed album, the former a dark, hard rocking gem filled with sizzling guitars and emotional vocals and the latter featuring killer, heavy riffs and a hook that is just unbeatable. The mood lightens for the more pop/melodic rock based "Face the World", a catchy tune with synths and crisp riffs, and the band opt for symphonic metal on the engaging "Humanize Me", another example of just how well this band combines irresistible vocal hooks with crushing guitar riffs and wonderful keyboard arrangements. The strong material continues to emerge as you get deeper into the album, like the '80s inspired "Bull's Eye", the aggressive metal attack of "King of the Right Here and Now", the ultra catchy "Heavens Little Devil" (which, in a perfect world would be a gigantic hit), and the melodic progressive metal gem that is "Civilized Monsters". One of the strongest tracks is saved for last, the dramatic "Was That What You Wanted", another massive riffs fest supported by bubbling synths, acrobatic rhythms, and Atkins' commanding vocal delivery.
Kingmaker is another powerful statement from Pretty Maids, and shows that the band are continuing to ride this recent wave of creativity that has seen them release some of the strongest material of their career.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
01.When God Took A Day Off
03.Face The World
05.Last Beauty On Earth
07.King Of The Right Here And Now
08.Heavens Little Devil
11.Was That What You Wanted