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PRAYING MANTIS Legacy

By Rob McNees, Vinyl Aficionado
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 @ 4:14 PM


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PRAYING MANTIS
Legacy

Frontiers Music 2015




It's always been a bone of contention with me as to why certain bands 'make it' while others don't. Of course there's the band dysfunction, crooked labels and horrid band management, but sometimes you just chalk it up to luck, or lack thereof.

I have always been a fan of PRAYING MANTIS and have all the early works up to the fantastic Time Tells No Lies album from 1981. But after that...nothing. Not a note, not a peep. Does that mean that they stopped making music or playing live? Hardly. But obviously a tour over here in The Colonies was/is a stretch. And being a Vinyl nutter, I've only seen 1 other album out on my beloved Wax, a Japanese pressing of Predator In Disguise that as of now I've yet to procure. So I was more than a bit curious to find out what PRAYING MANTIS 2015 sounds like when the offer to review their new album, Legacy, came my way.

Obviously after not hearing anything new for 34 years I expected that they would not at all sound like what I remembered. Lead off track 'Fight for Your Honor' confirms those thoughts. The NWOBHM PRAYING MANTIS was never as heavy as say, Angel Witch or Satan, but had a more melodic sound to their Metal, and Mantis 2015 does indeed continue in that vein. New singer John Cuijpers has an amazing voice with a great range and smooth delivery.

"The One" follows, melodic with a very memorable chorus. The one thing that stands out is that MANTIS 2015 has a very polished sound. If I had to categorize I would say a melodic Hard Rock /Metal style.

"Believable" reminds me of later era SAVATAGE when they radically altered their style with some tasty piano.Of course the sound is excellent. You'd be hard pressed to release something in this day and time that sounds anything less than stellar.

"Tokyo" has more use of keyboards in the background, and this track reminds me of newer KAMELOT. Being as the band has always been huge in Japan, this track will no doubt be a hit as well. Multi-layered backing vocals add to the charm of the track.

"Better Man" has a much slower tempo, with keys, almost a ballad one could say. If this was the 80's, the lighters would be in full effect.

"All I See" is another very melodic number with subdued vocals by John. Having not heard of him before, his range is outstanding.

"Eyes of A Child" starts off with almost 80's sounding keys and reminds me of EUROPE (the band).

"The Runner" is an up-tempo track with a keyboard solo. And since no keyboardist was mentioned in the bio, I have no idea whose actually playing them. New drummer Hans in 't Zandt keeps the solid beat behind the skins, however.

"Against The World" starts off with an epic intro, before settling into a mid-tempo rocker with some nice melody guitars from guitarist Andy Burgess and original member Tino Troy.

"Fallen Angel" has some nice harmony vocals and guitars and would make a great single methinks.

Album closer "Second Time Around" is up-tempo, with a great memorable chorus. Since all members except Hans are credited with vocals, the harmony vocals are a key component in the lush sound of the album.

When the Troy bros, Tino and brother/bassist Chris started PRAYING MANTIS in 1974, I'm fairly certain that they didn't see themselves still going strong 41 years later, yet here they are. And realistically, the band has stuck to the formula that has served them well: melodic Hard Rock with great harmonies and melodies, songs with hooks and memorable choruses. And in the end, staying true to ones self is a victory of sorts, fame & fortune be damned.

3.0 Out Of 5.0

Grab your copy of Legacy in the KNAC.COM More Store right HERE.


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