It's unlikely as an American, unless you're a devotee or historian of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), you will know of England's Praying Mantis. Their origins go deep into the late Seventies and then breakout with a substantial NWOBHM classic Time Tells No Lies in 1981. Difficult times followed, even though they had support slots with Iron Maiden, and the band fumbled. A resurrection occurred in 1991 and continued through 2003 until another lapse. 2009 brought us Sanctuary, a positive and true example of PM's melodic hard rock, on the Frontiers label.
In part celebration of an expansive career of better than 30 years, but also the 30th anniversary of Time Tells No Lies, Praying Mantis gives us Metalmorphosis. Essentially, this is Mantis re-recording some classic material. Significantly, Children of the Earth, Lovers to the Grave, and Panic in the Streets are from that now classic and respected album. While the recording is fresh, the listener should not expect some glaring reinterpretation. Rather, Praying Mantis gives us a small demonstration, a window into the past if you will, of the early melodic hard rock and metal that was NWOBHM.
Therefore this is primal music: the stuff that influenced a generation and still does today. Is Praying Mantis's music the most important stuff? Compared to the impact of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, maybe not. But it is representative and sounds damn good. Recommended.
Call Praying Mantis' Metalmorphosis a small demonstration, a window into the past if you will, of the early melodic hard rock and metal that was the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM).
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