Released: 2000, Scandinavian Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
After a very long wait for the follow up to the 1999 album ANYTHING WORTH DOING IS WORTH OVERDOING CARPE DIEM showed up in the last part of year 2000. The Danish group Pretty Maids has continually refused to follow trends during the many years they have played. The group began in 1983 with various member shifts during the first years. Now the band is stable with Ken and Michael who joined the band in the early 90s. They play 80s melodic hard rock with lots of keyboard and sing a long lyrics. A change in the sound came on the previous record ANYTHING WORTH DOING IS WORTH OVERDOING. The sound was even more 90s hard rock then before.
CARPE DIEM was recorded during the summer 2000 in Puk studio in Denmark. Mixed by the old Metallica producer Flemming Rasmussen, Ronnie Atkins (Vox), Ken Hammer (Guitars), Ken Jackson (Bass), Michael Fast (Drums) and Alan Owen (Keyboard). All songs on the record are produced and written by the two members then has been with the band from the beginning - Atkins/Hammer. CARPE DIEM is a mix of the former record and the old 80s hard rock they have always done. I feel good about the fact that they have taken influences from the new trends and still keep to the old hard rock alive. Ken Hammer is very good guitarist, Ronnie Atkins voice is magic, Michael Fast is quite good on the drums and the only one that you hear not so much is bassist Ken Jackson.
CARPE DIEM is divided into parts one with more heavy sound as for example “Violent Tribe”, “Poisoned Pleasures” and “They’re All Alike.” These are a little bit harder than we are used to with Pretty Maids. Then there are the sounds with more soft 80s hard rock with songs like “The Unwritten Pages”, “For Once In Your Life”, “Time Awaits For No One”, “Tortured Spirits” and the title track “Carpe Diem” (about seizing the day and living before is to late). Two potential hits for the radio is “Wouldn’t Miss You” and “Clay.” These two are my favorites. This is a very good record if you like hard rock from the 80s. It’s one of the best Pretty Maids records. It is sad that not so many people are in to Pretty Maids any more because they are still a very good band. The band started their tour for CARPE DIEM in January 2001 and it lasted for 3 months visiting Denmark, Germany and Japan. Other countries weren’t interested in the band. The group deserves better than this and I am glad that they still playing. Pretty Maids still goes on if the tempo is slower then it was in the 80s. I saw them in Copenhagen Denmark on the CARPE DIEM tour and they never do a bad show. This summer they at last came to Sweden. They took part of the Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg. They haven’t played in Sweden in many years so I hope that many fans look forward to the visit from the whole Scandinavia.
For more info on the band look at their page http://www.prettymaids.com