Holy wow! I am late to the party, so late I’m on the other side of this bands 4th decade. Shame on me. I could have pretended to have known about this band and B.S. my way through it but the shame and guilt are too much to bear. Ok, enough self-pity. On to why I feel so shameful because this is good music from Praying Mantis.
A little history of how ignorant I have been since 1974 when Praying Mantis formed. Granted while I am in my salt and pepper (more salt) hair years, I could not have been listening to them from their start. How I never came across them is a mystery, or perhaps I did and never gave a chance, but one would think he would recall such a name. These guys have had numerous line-up changes and a varied history not much of which I will cover simply because as a new introduction for me their longtime fans know what needs to be known. If you have been in the same boat as me jump ship and join this cruise along of good fun catchy hook-filled metal music. Heavier than hair bands and more in tune with fellow English mates Iron Maiden these fellas have the traditional NWOBHM sound. They have in fact shared some ex-Maiden bandmates at times.
Onto this new record; Legacy.
“Fight For Your Honour”: Great hook-laden metal groove song with some fine distortion and synth sounds. I like the vox and the guitar riffs rock.
“The One”: Begins like a ballad and if that turns you off I am truly sad for you and your ears. I won’t argue if this is “metal” because it’s not an argument I find worthwhile. All that matters to me is if my ears like it, and they do. I am a romantic soul, at least my wife of 2 decades says so (thank you T!) and I believe her every word so perhaps this is why I like tunes like these.
“Believable”: Starts with keys and moves into some fine guitar work before the vox kick in. I really like their combination of heavy guitar and synth. Similar to Europe. Some strong bass lines front and centre here in the mix, well done.
“Better Man”: Slower tempo heavier guitar, much heavier. The singer sure can carry his high notes! Like it!
“All I see”: So far the strongest song, great guitar work on rhythm and lead and the vox continue to impress. Speaks for itself.
“Eyes of a Child”: Starts very synth heavy and a faster tempo. The scary story metal song! Good!
“The Runner”: Drums are more front and centre here and a formulaic heavy song, vox are less high here. Fun synth effects solo. Another good song.
“Against The World”: The weakest song so far for me, more along the lines of Dio storytelling style of song. Still a decent song.
“Fallen Angel”: Another on the weaker side for my ears but that being said still a decent song.
“’Second Time Around”: The fastest tempo on the record, mystical story telling song. The closest NWOBHM style sound. Good finish to the song and to the record!
If you haven’t heard of or given Praying Mantis a listen, do so. It is good hard and heavy hook-laden music. I haven’t gone into their back catalogue as of yet but will be.
Stand out tracks: “All I see” / “Fight For Your Honour” / “The One”
Sadly just after I wrote this I read about the passing of one of their former bandmates; Steve Carrol. R.I.P.
– Blair De Abreu