It appears that than candidate, now first black American president, Barack Obama left a lasting impression on Europe, and German band Pretty Maids, during his campaign tour there in 2008. The new Pretty Maids album, Pandemonium, begins with an excerpt from one of his speeches (election night I believe). This merely adds to the irony as Mr. Obama, a benign dictator and practical socialist (something Europeans adore), has been creating 'pandemonium' in America ever since arriving in office. Of course, we can't blame Pretty Maids and other outsiders for their naivety since, after all, they are exactly that, outsiders.
But enough political commentary, and on to the music.
Without doubt, Pandemonium could be the finest Pretty Maids album in 10 years, possibly in their 30 year career. It is certainly better than 2006's Wake Up to the Real World, a decent but soft presentation from the band. The fundamental reasons for this praise follow.
First, Pandemonium is a complete album; there's not a single dog or filler tune on the entire disc. Second, the song composition shows genuine creativity, and so variety with no room for monotony. If there is any constant, and this is the third point, it's in the pervasive heaviness that undergirds nearly the entire album. Pandemonium genuinely blends the hooks and melody with the heaviness that makes metal 'metal'. Ultimately this latter characteristic is what makes Pandemonium exciting, a pure pleasure for those who dig melodic heavy metal.
For the catchy hook-laden side, look no farther than Final Day of Innocence, Beautiful Madness (echoes of Whitesnake), Old Enough to Know (if only the Scorpions could sound this good today), and the remix of It Comes at Night. Melodic metal and hard rock merge on the quasi-ballads, Little Drops of Heaven and Breathless (shades of Slash in the solo), both may cause you to put your player on repeat. For the heaviness of melodic metal listeners will dig Pandemonium, One World One Truth, and Cielo Drive by example. Whether by maturity or pure inspiration, Pretty Maids have never sounded better on Pandemonium. There's lots to love here as this is primo stuff. Quite recommended!
Whether by maturity or pure inspiration, Pretty Maids have never sounded better on Pandemonium. There's lots to love here.
Resolve marks the return of Allentown's Mindmaze, after a three year hiatus from the studio. Their third album offers a new and stable line up with new drummer Mark Bennett assisting bassist Rich ... [ Read More ]