Pretty Maids - Undress Your Madness
Frontiers Records
Melodic Hard Rock
11 songs (43' 19")
Release year: 2019
Pretty Maids, Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Andy

Though it has a long and storied history and a string of highly-rated albums to its credit, Pretty Maids never got mainstream recognition (though thanks to the efforts of some of my colleagues, Metal Reviews has covered quite a bit of its output). Undress Your Madness is the latest in their fairly prolific set of work this decade.

The sound that produced the Hammerfall-covered Back to Back has long since morphed into a smoothly-produced style of pop-inflected rock, but the Ken Hammer/Ronnie Atkins team can still provide some grit at the low end, as If You Want Peace (Prepare for War) shows. Pretty Maids has kept their pop-AOR tendencies sufficiently in-check in their later albums to keep metal fans interested, and even when the guitar chugging gets a little too heavy on the keyboard accompaniment, it still can excite.

What doesn't excite a listener is when the band drops a filler track. I've heard Firesoul Fly described as "uplifting", but this mid-tempo mediocrity, with a string of motivational-poster cliches for lyrics, has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The title track is a bit formulaic, but strong anyway. And the slower, ballad-y songs benefit from Atkins' rough-voiced delivery: Strength of a Rose, especially, has both the strength and beauty of its subject matter, with a nice descending bassline on the verse.

Undress Your Madness is an unspectacular album, but only suffers from a few flaws, its strengths and weaknesses both derived from the band's age. After getting burned in the early 90s by overproduction, and again in the early 2000s with modern stylings, it seems like Hammer and Atkins are now content to turn out competently-made rock albums without much, if any, experiments in the works.

Killing Songs :
If You Want Peace (Prepare for War), Strength of a Rose
Andy quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Pretty Maids that we have reviewed:
Pretty Maids - Louder Than Ever reviewed by Chris and quoted 84 / 100
Pretty Maids - Motherland reviewed by Chris and quoted 100 / 100
Pretty Maids - Pandemonium reviewed by Chris and quoted 92 / 100
Pretty Maids - Scream reviewed by Ben and quoted 76 / 100
Pretty Maids - Wake Up To The Real World reviewed by Mike and quoted 90 / 100
To see all 13 reviews click here
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