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Live report GOTTHARD / PRETTY MAIDS, Ratiopharm Arena, Ulm, 11.02.2017

Veröffentlicht am 13. Februar 2017 von Markus W. in Live Review, Live, Hardrock, Heavy Metal, Melodic Metal, News, Rock, Frontiers Music, G.Records, Gotthard, Pretty Maids

Swiss-based hardrockers Gotthard recently released a new album called "Silver", a record that also celebrates 25 years of the quintet from the Tessin.

The celebration continues with Gotthard embarking on a tour through Europe, playing shows mainly in Germany with some more gigs in Spain, Italy and so on. The third concert on this tour brought the guys to Ulm, Germany. As exciting as the headliner show is the special guest that joins the Swiss on this tour. Legendary Danish metal institution Pretty Maids is part of the game as well and it was up to them to raise temperature in the Ratiopharm arena. The venue is actually the home base for the local basketball team but this night it was turned into a convert hall with a surprisingly good acoustic.

To my surprise the show wasn't sold out, a fact that might has to do with the show in Ravensburg two days earlier, a city that's just 40 minutes away from Ulm.

Anyhow, Pretty Maids started the night through metal at 20:00 and it was obvious that the Danes had quite some fans in the audience. Solid riffing from Ken Hammer, a great voice of Ronnie Atkins and a bass player being in constant motion dominated a set of almost 60 minutes. What made Pretty Maids even more powerful was the keyboarder Chris Laney who took the rhythm guitar once in a while.The new songs worked as a springboard for what came in the last third of the show. The new tunes are good but the old ones are great. "Back to Back", "Red Hot and Heavy" and "Future World" are classics in metal and it wasn't a surprise that the crows celebrated every single note played. Talking about "Future World", the album celebrates its 30th anniversary and how great would a classic Pretty Maids set be for the old school fans.

All in all the Danes ignited a metal firework and was more than just a special guest. Horns up.

Live report GOTTHARD / PRETTY MAIDS, Ratiopharm Arena, Ulm, 11.02.2017

After a stage rebuild it was time for Gotthard. The show was a journey through 25 years of Swiss-made hardrock and after having had some mainstream years the band went back to their roots with playing harder stuff again. No doubt, catchy melodies are still in focus but also the guitars are back in forefront which makes the tunes again more exciting for headbangers.

The stage scenery was kept very straight-forward. The drum kit was surrounded by wall of speakers with a big lettering of "Silver" right in front. A big 'Gotthard' backdrop completed the picture and it was obviously the music that should get the attention rather than a lot of frills and decoration. 

“Silver River” and “Electrified” have been two great songs to start the show with and also the Billy Joe Royal cover “Hush” is a fix part of each Gotthard show. Fans were enjoying each of these songs and the concert became more a Saturday night party.

Half way down the road the quintet added an acoustic part to their show, which was OK, but it also felt like a break in an energizing rock'n'roll night. Furthermore this night became an unforgettable one for at least one girl who was invited for a dance on stage with frontman Nic Maeder during “Miss Me” was played. Up to this moment in time the show was good and solid but the real moment of turning the hall into a madhouse was with "Top of the World" when the crowd joined the chorus as being a big choir and also clapping hand filled the Ratiopharm arena.

To sum up, Gotthard played a rock solid show and created a party vibe that fitted very well to a Saturday night. 100 minutes of melodic hardrock were a treat for your ears and since the 'special guest' is almost as great (some voices in the crowd whispered "...even greater...") as the headliner things worked out very well. It was quater past eleven when the last note was played and a satisfied crowd started their way back home. 
One short remark about the venue. Food and beverages price were OK, but the payment card system to buy a drink is annoying, esp. if you aren't aware of it. Lining up just to be sent back in the line since the card was missing is truely annoying. This setup might work for regular visitors of basketball games but it's frustrating for single events like a rock concert.
Live report GOTTHARD / PRETTY MAIDS, Ratiopharm Arena, Ulm, 11.02.2017
Live report GOTTHARD / PRETTY MAIDS, Ratiopharm Arena, Ulm, 11.02.2017
Live report GOTTHARD / PRETTY MAIDS, Ratiopharm Arena, Ulm, 11.02.2017

Setlist Gotthard:

  1. Silver River
  2. Electrified
  3. Hush
  4. Stay With Me
  5. Mountain Mama
  6. Remember It's Me
  7. Feel What I Feel
  8. Sister Moon
  9. What You Get
  10. One Life, One Soul (acoustic)
  11. Let it Be (acoustic)
  12. Angel (acoustic)
  13. Heaven (acoustic)
  14. Miss Me
  15. Firedance
  16. Everything Inside
  17. Top of the World
  18. Lift U Up
  19. Medley (Come Together, Make My Day, She Goes Down)
  20. Anytime, Anywhere


Setlist Pretty Maids:

  1. Mother of all Lies
  2. Kingmaker
  3. Face the World
  4. Rodeo
  5. I.N.V.U.
  6. Bull's Eye
  7. Little Drops of Heaven
  8. Back to Back
  9. Red, Hot and Heavy
  10. Love Games
  11. Future World


Location: Ratiopharm Arena, Ulm, Germany

Date: February 11th, 2017


Tour dates GOTTHARD / PRETTY MAIDS for 2017

Veröffentlicht am 20. November 2016 von Markus W. in Gotthard, Pretty Maids, Tour, News, Heavy Metal, Melodic Metal, Hardrock, Classic Rock, Live Review

Tour dates GOTTHARD / PRETTY MAIDS for 2017

Swiss based hardrocker Gotthard will be on tour in the beginning of 2017, promoting their upcoming album "Silver" which will be released on January 13th, 2017. Support act for this tour is nobody less than the iconic Pretty Maids, who recently released with "Kingmaker" a brilliant new longplayer. Sounds like a package you shouldn't miss.

Here are the dates:

GER - 2017-02-09 Ravensburg OberschwabenKlub

GER - 2017-02-10 Regensburg Airport Obertraubling

GER - 2017-02-11 Ulm Ratiopharm Arena

GER - 2017-02-13 Frankfurt am Main Batschkapp

GER - 2017-02-14 Hamburg Markthalle

GER - 2017-02-15 Hannover Capitol

GER - 2017-02-17 Osnabrück Hyde Park

GER - 2017-02-17 Oberhausen Turbinenhalle

GER - 2017-02-19 Freiburg Zäpfle Club

GER - 2017-02-22 IT Milano Alcatraz

GER - 2017-02-24 ES Bilbao Santana 27

ES - 2017-02-25 Madrid La Riviera

ES - 2017-02-26 Barcelona Razzmatazz 2

GER - 2017-03-02 München Tonhalle

CH - 2017-03-03 Bern Festhalle

CH - 2017-03-04 Zürich Samsung Hall

AT - 2017-03-06 Wien Gasometer

GER - 2017-03-07 Nürnberg Löwensaal

GER - 2017-03-08 Saarbrücken Garage

GER - 2017-03-10 Balingen Volksbankmesse

CH - 2017-03-11 Lausanne Sale Metropole*

CH - 2017-03-12 Lausanne Sale Metropole*

GER - 2017-08-25 Haddeby Baltic Open Air*


* without Pretty Maids

Tour dates GOTTHARD / PRETTY MAIDS for 2017

CD review PRETTY MAIDS "Kingmaker"

Veröffentlicht am 22. Oktober 2016 von Markus W. in Pretty Maids, Heavy Metal, Melodic Metal, News, CD Review, Power Metal, Hardrock

(8/10) "Kingmaker" is the new album of Danish metal icons Pretty Maids. Three years after having had "Motherland" in the record shops it's "Kingmaker" that offers eleven new melodic metal songs that can immediately be recognized as being from Ronnie Atkins and Co.. Atkins typical vocals, Ken Hammer's riffs and well-done hooks are belonging to the bands trademarks and they are all coming back on the new output.

"Kingmaker" is a continuation of the revitalized band that had some big-sellers in the eighties, followed by some tougher times. Since a few years Pretty Maids is again working full-speed ahead by releasing records that make a lot of fun. The mixture of heaviness and melody is well dosed, something that makes the band interesting for a wider audience of metal fans.

The new album starts bold. It's "When God Took a Day Off" that begins with an intro reminding of "Cold Killers" from "Red, Hot and Heavy". The tune itself is a six minutes long power pack, acting as an excellent way into this longplayer.

The title track is next in line. Starting with a powerful riff, the song comes with a mighty punch - a well chosen name giver for this record. In general I must say that Pretty Maids releases all breaks, going straight forward with a lot of heavy rockers. The grooving "Bull's Eye", the slowly developing "Civilized Monster" and the hammering "Sickening" are all real highlights and 100% Pretty Maids, the latter coming with an extremely forceful rhythm section consisting out of Rene Shades (b) and Allan Tschicaja on drums.

The counterpart to these riff attacks is a power ballad called "Last Beauty on Earth". Pretty Maids can do these kind of songs since for one or another reason they never sound bad, even though they are pretty much mainstream. But since there is enough Danish dynamite included the song sounds good and is actually a 'must' for a Pretty Maids album.

"Kingmaker" is the highly anticipated new album of Pretty Maids and it's a longplayer that will be very well received by Pretty Maids fans and metalheads with a passion for powerful melodic metal.





  1. When God Took A Day Off
  2. King Maker
  3. Face The World
  4. Humanize Me
  5. Last Beauty On Earth
  6. Bull's Eye
  7. King Of The Right Here And Now
  8. Heavens Little Devil
  9. Civilized Monsters
  10. Sickening; Was That What You Wanted;
  11. King Maker (Extended Version) (Digital Bonus Track)


Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: Melodic Metal

Release Date EU: November 4th, 2016

CD review PRETTY MAIDS "Kingmaker"

CD review NORDIC UNION "Nordic Union"

Veröffentlicht am 12. Januar 2016 von Markus W. in Nordic Union, Pretty Maids, W.E.T., Hardrock, Melodic Metal, News, CD Review, Heavy Metal, Classic Rock

(9/10) Frontiers President Serafino Perugino has obviously a passion for bringing together various musicians for projects that end up in releases on his label. The newest project is called Nordic Union which is a collaboration between Pretty Maids singer Ronnie Atkins and W.E.T. mainman Erik Martensson.

Normally there is a kind of competition between Denmark and Sweden but those two guys make crystal clear that a partnership can even lead to better results. Nordic Union's debut is a very strong one. It's an album that is full of killers. Atkins' unique rough vocals and Martensson's excellent sense for hooks and melodies make this record to one of the strongest melodic metal releases of the last years.

The opener "The War Has Begun" sets the tone of voice for this longplayer. It's a hard one, it's a rough one and it's a melodic one. I haven't heard Atkins that good since quite a while. I was reminded to the earlier Pretty Maids days when I heard the track.

Also the stomper "When Death is Calling" is one of those headbangers that you can't escape from. You just love this tune from the very first moment on.

"Hypocrisy" starts a bit more silent before it turns into a catchy hardrocker with a great chorus that shows Atkins at his best.

"Wide Awake" marks another midpace earworm before "Every Heartbeat" shows Nordic Union's romantic side. 

The more simpe "21 Guns" is still better than what you get from most of the other bands in this genre, followed by "Falling", a song that convinces with a well crafted chorus.

"The Other Side" keeps things rocking while "Point of No Return" reminds me again to the earlier Pretty Maids days. "True Love Awaits You" is the second very soulful hymn on "Nordic Union". It's well done even though its stands back behind "Every Heartbeat".

The musical bouncer on the debut is called "Go", which is a pretty solid hardrock tune, build on dynamic guitars and excellent vocals.

"Nordic Union" became the best Pretty Maids album Pretty Maids never wrote. Eleven melodic rockers, done by highly experienced guys, show every youngster how metal music needs to sound like. Even though 2016 just started, this album is already right now in my personal Top 10. Let's hope that this collaboration will continue. These guys are far too good to just leave it with one album.





  1. The War Has Begun
  2. Hypocrisy
  3. Wide Awake
  4. Every Heartbeat
  5. When Death is Calling
  6. 21 Guns
  7. Falling
  8. The Other Side
  9. Point of No Return
  10. True Love Awaits You
  11. Go


Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: Melodic Metal

Release Date EU: January 29th, 2016

CD review NORDIC UNION "Nordic Union"

Two new videos from PRETTY MAIDS

Veröffentlicht am 15. März 2014 von Markus W. in Pretty Maids, News, Video, Heavy Metal, Hardrock

Two new songs from Pretty Maids. Both are from the album "Louder than ever" and are new tracks. Typical songs with trademarks of the Danish rockers.


CD Review PRETTY MAIDS "Louder than ever"

Veröffentlicht am 13. März 2014 von Markus W. in Pretty Maids, Heavy Metal, Hardrock, News, CD Review

(8/10) A new album from Pretty Maids after the really good "Motherland" from last year? Yes and no. The idea of "Louder than ever" is to bridge the period between "Motherland" and the next full-length album. Actually a good idea, esp. since the guys from Denmark found back to their old strength. This means that the tracklist consists out of four new songs and re-recorded songs from the period 1995-2006.

What about the new songs? "Deranged" is the first one and also the opener of the the album. It starts with a straight riff which leads to a typical Pretty Maids verse, focussing in Atkins excellent voice. The chorus is a power eruption with a great hook. The songs just sticks and is a winner. "My soul to take" is the second new tune. It's a track with a beautiful melody, which is also in focus. The song isn't too hard, it's more a rock songs. But it is in the typical Pretty Maids style and makes fun to listen to. With "Nuclear boomerang" it's slightly different. The beginning reminds to "Cold killers" from the legendary "Red, hot and heavy" album. It is a blazing fast track which is really heavy, but it still comes with an excellent feeling for melodies, a good groove and keyboards which support the dense sound of the track. I feel a bit like in the "Future world" times. A ballad finalizes the album. "A heart without a home" is the forth new song and is a typical catchy Pretty Maids one. The song isn't a bad one, but what I miss is a bit more tention in the tune. It goes a  bit with the flow and hasn't any real highlights. It's a bit too much of the same. Pretty Maids wrote already better ballads.

When it comes to the 'older' songs it's not that much extra to say. The choice of them is OK and the tracks sound a bit more powerful than the originals. They are a nice add-on, but not the reason why you should go for this album.

There is nothing wrong with the album and I think it is really good that Pretty Maids try to keep the momentum. Mainly since they have found back to old strength again. The only thing I have to question is, if it was needed to create a full-length album. Maybe an EP with the 4 new songs and one or two cover versions would have been the better choice. But again: good album, good songs and three new pearls. Glorious future.





  1. Deranged (new song)
  2. Playing God (from "Planet Panic")
  3. Psycho time bomb (from "Scream")
  4. My soul to take (new song)
  5. He who never lived (from "Planet Panic")
  6. Virtual brutality (from "Planet Panic")
  7. Tortured spirit (from "Carpe Diem")
  8. With these eyes (from "Anything worth doing,...")
  9. Nuclear boomerang (new song)
  10. Snakes in eden (from "Anything worth doing,...")
  11. Wake up to the real world (from "Wake up to the real world")
  12. A heart without a home (new song)


Label: Frontiers Records

Genre: Heavy Metal


CD Review PRETTY MAIDS "Louder than ever"

News from the coming PRETTY MAIDS album

Veröffentlicht am 25. Januar 2014 von Markus W. in Pretty Maids, Heavy Metal, News, Video

Ron Atkins from the legendary Pretty Maids talks you through the new album "Louder than ever". The record contains a few new songs and some re-recordings from the 90's. The album is a kind of bridging between "Motherland" and the new album. Release date is on March 21st in Europe and in North America on March 25th.


Here is the track list:

  1. Deranged (New Song)
  2. Playing God;
  3. Psycho Time Bomb Planet Earth;
  4. My Soul To Take (New Song);
  5. He Who Never Lived;
  6. Virtual Brutality;
  7. Tortured Spirit;
  8. With These Eyes;
  9. Nuclear Boomerang (New Song);
  10. Snakes In Eden;
  11. Wake Up To The Real World;
  12. A Heart Without A Home (New Song)





New PRETTY MAIDS album in spring 2014

Veröffentlicht am 26. November 2013 von Markus W. in Pretty Maids, Heavy Metal, News

Danish metal act Pretty Maids will release a new album called "Louder than ever" in spring 2014. 'New' is not totally correct, since it will be mainlt re-recordings from older song from the era between 1995 - 2006. That means unfortunatley no re-recordings of the first two records :o(


But read here their offical announcement from Facebook:

"PRETTY MAIDS NEW ALBUM LOUDER THAN EVER. Release date spring 2014. The album will consist of re-recorded songs from the era between 1995 & 2006. The reason for doing this project is to give those songs a different spin with the band and producer we have now. It is an in-between album until the band completes the next studio album with new tunes. This Album will ALSO consist of brand new songs and a bonus DVD."