Ronnie Atkins - One Shot
Frontiers Records
Melodic Rock
11 songs (44:44)
Release year: 2021
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Ben

Pretty Maids have ruled my world for quite some time. When I got into them around 2000 when Carpe Diem was released they were a solid, cult status band that led the pack by a stunningly wide margin when it came to melodic rock. They are so far ahead of everyone that I actually like and listen to their ballads. Well, fast forward to around 2009 and a lineup change and new record deal led to the Danish rockers having a healthy resurgence late in their career. Now, what we have here after many years is singer Ronnie Atkins' first solo album. When this was first announced, I didn't know what to expect. Will this be a soft rock album? Will there be a ton of ballads? While this definitely does not sound like rehashed Pretty Maids tracks, fans of the band won't be disappointed. This is just me purely speculating out loud here, but I think this could have been a Pretty Maids record, but the pandemic and stuff had Ronnie making this solo.

Anyways, the first track, Real, almost makes one a bit worried this will be acoustic driven rock. Fear not! Once electric guitars kick in and we get to the chorus, trepidation over ballad infestation should be tossed away without hesitation. Scorpio is a more typical melodic rocker with a "watery vocal effect" in the pre-chorus. I could easily see this on Wake Up To The Real World. The title track was the big single and I can see why. This sounds very reminiscent of a sports / arena anthem chant type of song. The first couple of minutes set the stage with piano and Ronnie dominating the listener's ears. Then we get that pregnant pause and boom, loud drums and guitar crash in and create a very We Will Rock You moment. Before The Rise Of An Empire is a straight forward, no frills, upbeat, rock song akin to the early melodic rock side of Circus Maximus with its kinda proggy lite slant in the guitars. I Prophesize and One By One are in the back area of the record but are definitely worthy of attention. The former is a type of yearning song where Ronnie delivers an impassioned vocal performance that is quite powerful in its delivery. Hoping for a better future despite knowing it's a lie. The latter is really old school sounding and combines US metal riffing in the intro and Euro melodic rock melodies. This actually has big Invisible Chains vibes from Carpe Diem. A true highlight.

One Shot was made in pretty trying circumstances for the people involved but it came out really well. This is kinda cool to look at and see what Ronnie released and his outlook on life given everything going on. This isn't a ballad festival, nor is it a super depressing downer of an album. I guess that's because Ronnie is just doing what he does best, and that's writing and singing bad ass melodic rock. Fans of Pretty Maids should check this out and gladly add it to their collection.

Killing Songs :
Scorpio, I Prophesize, One By One, Before The Rise Of An Empire
Ben quoted 77 / 100
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