'It Comes Alive (Maid in Switzerland)'
Release Date: 26th March 2012
Celebrating 30 years of classic rock, Pretty Maids have recorded a special anniversary performance in Switzerland for a live 2CD/DVD. 'It Comes Alive', released in the UK at the end of March, has an electrifying set-list which builds on the success of their most recent album 'Pandemonium' and features various classics and fan favourites from over the years.
Pretty Maids formed in Denmark way back in 1981, but despite consistent touring and some fantastic tracks in their back catalogue, the band has surprisingly never broken through to the mainstream. But for the hardcore fans, many of whom joined the band in Switzerland for the recording of 'It Comes Alive', there's no doubt that Pretty Maids are a hidden gem!
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With a traditional melodic rock sound, it's easy to compare them to Europe or Thin Lizzy, but there's more to Pretty Maids than melody - and singer Ronnie Atkins has a proper raspy rock voice which really shines when the band play the heavier numbers. Tracks like 'Pandemonium' or 'Destination Paradise' are real fist in the air anthems with a nod to Iron Maiden or Accept.
'It Comes Alive' has been really well produced and although I've never seen Pretty Maids play live, there's an immediate sense that the essence of the band on stage has been captured. It sounds natural and the band are effortlessly slick and in sync, blending the old and new material seamlessly.
As Ronnie Atkins states: "It's always difficult to make a set list that satisfies everyone. It's a combination of what the crowd expect us to play and what we like to play ourselves! But of course there are songs like 'Futureworld' and 'Red Hot And Heavy' that we have been playing for the last 25 years so, they still get a new life every time we play 'em and still seem to please our audience!"
There aren't really any weak tracks on this live compilation, but if I have one criticism it's that there are too many ballads! They're great songs and sound superb but for me the band really come alive on CD 2, from 'Yellow Rain' onwards.
There is fizzing dynamic energy to these songs and it brings the best out of the band, especially Ken Hammer on guitar. 'Back To Back' and 'Red Hot And Heavy' really showcase Pretty Maids' Metal side!
This is a great live album. It's a proper old-fashioned rock record that really showcases the band's talent. If you can skip past a couple of the slower tracks, it really comes to life from CD2 onwards. The UK doesn't seem to be on their touring list but if they do come to London I'm definitely going.
Check out the trailer for the CD/DVD here:
Jonathan Churchill. MetalTalk.net
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