Time Tells – No Lies 4.5/5 (Rock Candy)
Metalmorphosis – 30th Anniversary Album (Japan Edition) 4.5/5
NWoBHM legends Praying Mantis, led by brothers guitarist Tino and bassist Chris Troy, have always played at the melodic end of hard rock, a solid yet polished feel. They were more Def Leppard and Magnum than Iron Maiden and Venom.
Their classic 1981 debut LP, with outstanding Rodney Matthews’ artwork, is now a collectors’ item and was, until now, only released on CD in Japan. Rock Candy have given it the works here and what a pleasure it is.
The album opens with the single “Cheated”, lots of vocal harmonies and guitar solos, and then there’s a great take on the classic “All Day And All Of The Night” with strong hard edge. “Running For Tomorrow” has a more balladic intro, before picking up the pace.
The whole album is just a fantastic listen, it is melodic hard rock at it’s best, having a NWoBHM influence rather than the FM Radio take of other bands of the genre, an element of crash bang wallop that works well. And the anthemic “Children Of The Earth” (a live favourite) closes with aplomb.
Not only is the album a classic, it’s given extensive sleevenotes (with band interviews) and 5 bonus tracks too.
Move forward 30 years and the band celebrated their anniversary with a 5 track EP, which received great reviews and rightly so. The band have built on this by adding 6 further tracks for a Japanese edition full album version. And what a wonderful listen it is too.
And this set of new recordings of older tracks builds on the strength of the recent Sanctuary album, strong with an ever so slightly rougher edge. The recording of the new 6 tracks is true to what the band did on the original 5 last year, new drummer Gary Mackenzie fitting well. With two guitarists there’s a full sound, and the vocal harmonies sound good too. Many tracks come from the aforementioned debut, ballads and rockers alike, the powerhouse “Panic In The Streets” standing out, and in addition there are several tracks from the band’s second album (rare as rocking horse shit) Predator In Disguise. All benefit from the big production, and the booklet features both lyrics and notes on each track. A package that fans will love and also serve as a great intro.
On this evidence it’s criminal that this band aren’t huge.
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In this two hour special David Randall plays a selection of the GRTR! reviewer choices for ‘Best of 2019′ and announces the results of the popular poll. First broadcast Sunday 22 December 2019.
Featured Albums w/c 20 January (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 AUTUMN’S CHILD Autumn’s Child (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 THE RAGGED SAINTS Sonic Playground Revisited (AOR Heaven)
14:00-16:00 AMBERLY CHALBERG Hi-Line (indie)
Power Plays w/c 20 January (Mon-Fri)
THUNDERSTICK Go Sleep With The Enemy (Roulette Records)
BUFFALO SUMMER Everybody’s Out For No.1 (Silver Lining Music)
ANCHOR LANE Dead Run (R7 Records)
MOLLY KARLOFF She Said (indie)
H.E.A.T. Come Clean (Frontiers)
THE KENDALL COLLECTION Staring Back At Me (indie)
VOODOO RAMBLE Midnight Train (indie)
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