The history of UK's Praying Mantis goes back better than 40 years. The band predated the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, but the same phenomena propelled them to the spotlight. Mostly, over last decade or so, like much of classic rock and metal, they've flown under the mainstream music radar. Yet Mantis has continuously delivered substantial and entertaining melodic hard rock and metal.
Their tenth album, Legacy, is no exception and, honestly, I think it's their best work in the last 20 years. It's so good, so thoroughly consistent and entertaining, it could be one of the best albums of 2015.
There's many things to like about this album. The twin guitar harmony. The consistent rock groove and beat from the rhythm section The catchy hooks in the refrains and guitar leads. The proper addition of keyboards for atmosphere and accent. The melody and harmony in the vocals and vocal arrangements. That last feature deserves some elaboration. With this album, Praying Mantis introduces John Cuijpers as their new vocalist. He's a bit of a journeyman vocalist performing with a variety of bands, including tribute bands for Deep Purple and Dio. And you definitely hear the timbre of the latter in his voice. Otherwise, his range and control is terrific, while singing clean, melodic, and smooth. Praying Mantis scored big getting Cuijers on the microphone. The guy soars.
After these things, there's only one more thing to say. Every song on this album is terrific. From the rockers like Fight For Your Honour, Tokyo, and Fallen Angel to epic anthems like Against The World, Better Man, and All I See, this album does not stumble in any respect. It's all might fine with no filler. I've changed my mind: to this date, this is the best melodic hard rockin' metal album of 2015. Nuff said. Get it. Now.
To this date, Praying Mantis' Legacy is the best melodic hard rockin' metal album of 2015. Nuff said. Get it. Now.
Though I've reviewed bands from France, it's not the first country I think of for heavy metal. But they do exist with bands such as Fairyland, Adagio, and Nightmare to name a few. (Curiously when doing a Google search for "French heavy ... [ Read More ]