Pretty Maids - Motherland
Frontiers Records
Melodic Metal
13 songs ()
Release year: 2013
Pretty Maids, Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Chris
Album of the Year V2

Once in a while, great bands release a perfect album, an album so strong you can listen to it over and over again without ever getting bored of it, Motherland is such an album. Pretty Maids strongest album since Future World and maybe actually the band's best effort to date (let the complaining begin :) ).

Motherland is pure, melodic metal at its best. Ronnie Atkins vocals are simply unbelievable. While the aggressive vocals can't reach the intensity they have on Future World and Jump the Gun, the more angelic, soft vocals are much better, maturity oblige I guess... Be it fast romps like Mother of All Lies, Motherland, The Iceman or Why so Serious, or ballads like Sad to See You Suffer (my favorite ballad from PM with Please don't Leave Me), Bullet for You or even the Linkin Park sounding (verse only) Infinity, there are no shortage of killer tracks on this album. As a matter of fact every song is a killer, plain and simple. The album doesn't repeat itself either, in the twelve songs (1 intro) presented here, there isn't any song sounding like another, it's all fresh, melodic and inspired material. Guitars are heavy and incredibly backed up by modern yet amazing keyboard work that gives each song an identity of their own. Pretty Maids found the perfect balance between melody and heaviness. While some might argue that the album contains some pop moments, I would say that if that's the case, they simply enhance the songs, but at it's core, this is metal, and grand metal as far as I'm concerned. I can already hear people complain about how much the verse and piano intro of Infinity sounds like Linkin Park. I recognized it immediately but the song evolves to something else, something Pretty Maids and something beautiful that leads to an emotion charged ballad. There are three ballads, too much you say ? Listen to them first my friend ! Complain later... If you can ! In any case it's nothing new, Pretty Maids is known for releasing great ballads.

In order to compare this album and quote it appropriately I've listened to Future World and Jump the Gun for two straight weeks in between the easily 60 listens I've given Motherland. While some of the best songs the band wrote are on both these albums (Future World, Rodeo, Yellow Rain, Lethal Heroes, Savage Heart), but these two albums are are less constant than Motherland, they have 4 to 6 ultra killer songs, some great songs and a few that while good are still a few notches lower. Motherland contains no such songs, they are all killer, and while none beat Future World or Rodeo in my heart, the overall album is the strongest to date nontheless and most songs are up there approaching these two. Guitars are majestic, be it riffs or solos, and keyboards are fresh and really helps the overall sound to attain a perfect balance between melody and heaviness, but worry not, there is enough heavy parts in Motherland.

I know not everyone will agree with the perfect score (as a matter of fact I expect heavy resistance on that front :D), and that is your right, but I also know many Pretty Maids fans will love this album, wether they think it's perfect or not is up to anyone's opinion, but I doubt that many of the band's fans won't like the album at all (that would really surprise me). The album is also a grower, the first listen was powerful enough but it's the subsequent repeats that cemented this feeling, with discovering all the subtleties of each and every song and to let those sink in and for the fantastic melodies to burn into the listener's mind (forever).

It's not every day that a band release such a powerful, perfect album. It's really great that Pretty Maids managed to evolve beyond their roots and still deliver such a killer album late in their career. Pandemonium was already a strong album (and a preview of things to come I guess) but Motherland is in another league. Even so I never expected it to be the sonic atomic bomb that it is ! Album of the year hands down, eyes closed and no questions asked ! I've always loved Pretty Maids and while some albums were weaker in the past two decades, Motherland takes the crown and shows the world, in style, that the Danish metallers still have what it takes to surprise us greatly. Motherland is definitely the album to beat in 2013 !

Killing Songs :
They all kill !
Chris quoted 100 / 100
Danny quoted 100 / 100
Other albums by Pretty Maids that we have reviewed:
Pretty Maids - Louder Than Ever reviewed by Chris and quoted 84 / 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
Pretty Maids - Jump The Gun reviewed by Ben and quoted 85 / 100
To see all 12 reviews click here
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