Praying Mantis: Sanctuary
PRAYING MANTIS was formed back in 1977 by Chris and Tino Troy. They rose to fame during the NWOBHM era but never became a commercial success. The band released a “Soundhouse Tapes” as did IRON MAIDEN, a group they have shared many members with. Their full-length debut “Time Tells No Lies” is still available on CD and there are seven more studio albums plus two live discs and at least one compilation. Several ex. IRON MAIDEN members have contributed during the years; Paul DiAnno, Dennis Stratton, and during their period as STRATUS, also Clive Burr. The new line up was established in 2007; Chris, bass, and Tino, guitars, of cause, with new additions; Mike Freeland, vocals, Andy Burgess, guitars, and Benjy Reid, drums.
“In Time” is reminiscent of the past two albums; “Nowhere to Hide” (2000) and “The Journey Goes On” (2003). It is neat, melodic and features the usual contagious riff. Today they are far off their NWOBHM days but the sound is crisp and clear and producer Andy Reilly (FM, BRUCE DICKINSON) has done a great job. They don´t really even feel all that English, maybe some influences that has been there all the time via the Hispano-Greek brothers heritages. The lyrics are pure AOR, “Restless Heart” is a role model. Some songs linger on from the first chord, “Tears in the Rain” has a simple rhythm but turns into an immediate favorite without being a blatant attempt at a hit. The intros are something that PRAYING MANTIS masters. “So High” as building expectations. It evolves to a keyboard laden gem with a simple but effective refrain and some heavy guitar work than average on the album. They go from a rocker in the TRIUMPH vein to emotionally compelling in “Lonely Way Home”. Mike Freeland´s voice fits like a glove and is the reason I don’t miss previous vocalists like Tony O´Hora. Another instant pleaser is “Threshold of a Dream”. I get the feeling thet the enthusiasm declines somewhat with “Playing God” and “Highway” before the title track closes the album in fine fashion. This comeback album comes highly recommended.
Track List In Time Restless Heart Tears in the Rain So High Lonely Way Home Touch the Rainbow Threshold of a Dream Playing God Highway Sanctuary