Album review: PRETTY MAIDS – Maid In Japan

PRETTY MAIDS – Maid In Japan

Frontiers [Release date 22.05.20]

Pretty Maids have been around since the early 80’s, with original members vocalist Ronnie Artkins and guitarist Ken Hammer joined by bassist Rene Shades, Chris Laney on keyboards, guitar and drummer Allan Sørensen (who left the band last year). This live recording is from two shows in Tokyo in November 2018 was to showcase the 30th anniversary of their classic ‘Future World’ album.

After the instrumental intro ‘FW30’ the Pretty Maids are off and flying through the ‘Future World’ album. There is the fist pumping melodic metal of ‘Loud ‘N’ Proud’ and ‘We Came To Rock’. Then the band’s more serious side of songwriting comes through on ‘Yellow Rain’, where Ronnie Atkins gets the crowd joining in big time. ‘Eye Of The Storm’ is the lighters in the air ballad moment, another song that highlights the vocal prowess of Ronnie Atkins and so good to hear he is on the mend following his recent treatment for cancer.

They round the set off with some of their more recent songs including ‘Mother Of All Lies’ (complete with an extended intro of political speeches), another one the audience seems to love. ‘Kingmaker’ keeps the tempo going, Pretty Maids are experts at penning memorable melodic metal.

The DVD adds the live show, interviews with the band, a documentary about the recording of these shows and if that wasn’t enough, the promo videos from the band’s output between 2010 and 2019 are included.

Pretty Maids are one of those bands that have kept going, through various musical trends which saw off many contemporaries, and are arguably at their peak now, especially since adding Chris Laney who helps round out their sound.

Personally not a big fan of live albums, however this is pretty darn essential for fans of the band. Plus the DVD adds plenty of extra content making it a worthwhile package all round. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

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