Frontiers Music s.r.l.
8 November 2019
Ronnie Atkins – Voice
Ken Hammer – Guitars
Rene Shades – Bass
Chris Laney – Keyboards
Allan Sørensen – Drums
4.Undress Your Madness
5.Will You Still Kiss Me (If I See You In Heaven)
7.If You Want Peace (Prepare For War)
11.Strength Of A Rose
This has been a banner year for me as far as Bucket List bands are concerned. I’ve managed to check off several I never thought I would see. The two I was most excited about were Queen + Adam Lambert and Pretty Maids. This looked to be a battle of two of my most favorite bands ever that I’ve never had the chance to see live. Sure, Queen is minus Mercury and Deacon, but getting to see Brian May and Roger Taylor play these songs that have been a part of my life since some of my earliest memories was a dream come true. The show surpassed all expectations. A few weeks later was to be another huge one in Pretty Maids. As soon as they were announced for ProgPower this year last year I have been over the moon. It’s well-chronicled here my love for this band and my anticipation was super high. They were essentially “the band” that prompted my ticket purchase. Imagine how high my excitement was when announced vs the high disappointment when it was revealed they were canceling. I was devastated if I’m being honest. I was ready to sell my tickets and skip the whole shebang (I didn’t and had a blast.) I even had some moments where I couldn’t even listen to their music without being sad. Despite this being, likely, my only chance to have finally seen them live, I have since re-established my undying love of the music.
Releasing what is easily the best album they’ve done in some time (and that’s saying something) they have returned to their more melodic side with Undress Your Madness. The last couple of releases have found the band exploring their heavier side, which worked well for them, but for me riding that middle ground of just enough heaviness and copious amounts of melodic goodness are where Pretty Maids demonstrates why they have been Hard Rock’s hidden treasure for the better part of 30+ years. With the recent announcement that Ronnie Atkins is dealing with lung cancer, it makes this album more interesting as it makes one wonder if he was dealing with issues from this disease during the recording process, thus making it nothing short of miraculous if he was as his voice is in top form. The band, as always, delivers top-notch performances, and with tracks like “Firesoul Fly,” “If You Want Peace (Prepare For War,)” “Strength of A Rose,” and “Will You Still Kiss Me (If I See You In Heaven)” you see a band that, even after these three decades of making music, haven’t lost their edge or become stagnant.
I’m still a little bummed about not getting to see them, but at least I got a brilliant collection of brand-new songs from Pretty Maids to ease my pain with Undress Your Madness. Of course. All well-wishes and thoughts to Ronnie during his fight with cancer. Here’s hoping he makes a full recovery and rebounds back better than ever. When a band that has consistently released music of this caliber, year after year, it is remarkable they’ve yet again raised the bar for fan expectations.
Written by: Chris Martin