Label: Praying Mantis Records 2011
Review by Alan Holloway
There’s a reason that Praying Mantis were one of the foremost bands in the NWOBHM thingumydoodah, and it’s not because they had cool Rodney Matthews covers with big ass insects on them, although that probably helped. No, Praying Mantis had some pretty good music as well, melodic and powerful, much of which stands up today (as a quick trip to YouTube will show.)
It’s been thirty years since PM released their debut “Time Tells No Lies”, and to celebrate/cash in/stave off boredom, the current line up have fully re recorded five tracks from it and tagged them with the clever label “Metalmorphosis” (whoever thought of that deserves a cream bun at the very least). What you get for your buck are the following tracks: “Children Of The Earth”, “Praying Mantis”, Lovers To The Grave”, “Panic In the Streets” and “Captured City”. For a band who did a stunning job reinventing themselves with the top class “Sanctuary” album, it’s nice to see the band haven’t forgotten where they came from, and they do a first class job on every track. “Captured City” has NEVER sounded so good, and “Praying Mantis” would not have been out of place on “Sanctuary”. For me, Mike Freeland is a n absolute gem on vocals, taking the band’s already AOR friendly tunes to new heights of melodic cuddliness, although there’s still plenty of grit there as well.
Praying Mantis were one of those bands that never quite made it as far as they should, although they still had a decent career and a loyal following. “Sanctuary” showed us a band who can put it out there with the best of them even today, and “Metalmorphosis” should be a hook to recapture some of those old fans who may have fallen by the wayside over the years.