Praying Mantis - Legacy
Frontiers Records
NWOBHM/Melodic Heavy Metal
11 songs (56:00)
Release year: 2015
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Joel
Praying Mantis’s earliest iteration of the band dates back to the beginning of the NWOBHM, in 1970. In the UK/England they rose to be one of the more prominent bands along side bands, like Iron Maiden, in which they shared the stage for many of those early years. For myself, the name is one I had heard, but never really had the opportunity to listen to. Seeing the name show up in my list of promos, I did a bit of research, watched a few videos, and then found myself curious to see how this band sounded now.

Delivering a full on assault of NWOBHM, of the melodic variety mixed with a little bit of Deep Purple as well, is the Praying Mantis way. New vocalist John Cuijpers, has some amazing pipes, and on the album’s first track Fight For Your Honour, he sounds like the late great, Dio, and its pretty uncanny. From the keys, twin guitar melodies and powerful vocals, this is an ode to a time, when this type of metal reigned, yet with a solid production, brings it fully realized to the modern day. The more classic rock sound of the band shows up on The One and Believable. The first one is drenched with clean guitar picked arpeggios, over a basic driving drumbeat. The latter is a faster song with a huge melodic sing along chorus, that I am sure will get fists pumping. The classic AOR/classic rock vibe and Dio stylings return with Tokyo. Another classic huge melodic chorus, another song that alternates between clean arpeggios and heavier distorted guitar parts. A few keyboard/synth flourishes are added for dynamics, but remain in the background. Better Man could be considered a ballad, with clean and distorted guitar parts. The latter being more of a basic straight ahead riff with a mix of open chords to go with it. Cuijper’s vocals really shine through on this song, and his range is downright phenomenal. I am not sure if Andy Burgess or Tino Troy do the guitar solo on this song, but they are very tasteful and build up the chorus very well.

Much like The One, All I see is a solid melodic song, with driving guitars and drums, and a chorus that is the highlight of the song. Eyes Of A Child’s synths are prominent early in the song, with a solid groove from the rest of the band wrapped around it. Acoustic guitars can be heard strumming during these parts. I really like this song a lot, and I think it stands out from the rest for being a little bit different, but yet contains all the elements that makes Legacy a solid release. The Runner is a straight ahead rocker, not the best song on the disc, not the worst, but something I came to expect as I listened to more of the disc. Against The World, is accentuated by a driving riff and drums, and Cuijpers doing what he does best. Fallen Angel is another mid paced melodic song, with Chris Troy’s bass and Hans In T’Zandt’s drums leading the verses, with guitar power chords holding their notes. There is also a nice twin guitar lead harmony heard at different points of the song. Much like the disc opened, the closer Second Time Around, is one of the faster songs on the disc, the twin guitar harmonies, the overall tempo, and the vocals of course, let Legacy end on a definite high note.

I usually don’t repeat or quote anything I write earlier in my reviews but the best way to describe Praying Mantis and this release is, “This is an ode to a time, when this type of metal reigned, yet with a solid production, brings it fully realized to the modern day.”
Killing Songs :
Fight For Your Honour, Tokyo, Better Man, Against The World, Second Time Around
Joel quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Praying Mantis that we have reviewed:
Praying Mantis - Nowhere To Hide reviewed by Danny and quoted 85 / 100
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