Frontiers Records [Release date 21.08.15]
Praying Mantis were always lumped in with the NWOBHM but they were always more of a melodic rock band and “Legacy”, their 10th if you include the one issued under the Stratus banner in 1984, continues in this vein.
Formed in the mid-1970’s by Tino and Chris Troy (guitar and bass respectively) the brothers are the sole original members. Guitarist Andy Burgess returns alongside newcomers Hans In’t Zandt (their 8th drummer) and John Cuiipers (their 13th vocalist!).
John follows in the footsteps of several well-known vocalists such as Bernie Shaw, John Sloman, Doogie White and Paul Di’Anno. Surprising over the years they have featured both Dennis Stratton and Clive Burr alongside Paul Di’Anno as ex-Iron Maiden personnel…
Things kick off in impressive fashion with Fight For Your Honour which wouldn’t sound out of place on Uriah Heep’s latest. Unfortunately the high quality is not maintained as we are then subjected to The One which comes across as a second rate Hysteria-like Def Leppard number.
Apart from the quite powerful Better Man nothing else stands out amongst the rest. The band veer between Def Leppard, Uriah Heep and Ten sounding songs but fail to live up to the quality of any these bands.
Praying Mantis need their own identity but “Legacy” doesn’t give them this at all. Everything sounds mighty fine at the first play but then after repeated plays the doubts set in…and in the end the songs just aren’t good enough.
In balance I believe I actually enjoyed the wonderful Rodney Matthews artwork more than the music on this one! Solid but nothing special or original here… ***
Review by Phil Berisford
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