I can’t believe it’s been six years since Praying Mantis released the excellent “comeback” album, SANCTUARY! I know the band has been the exact opposite of the word “prolific” during their 35+ year career, but it does seem odd that this new album, LEGACY, is only the band’s fourth album release since the turn of the century. Notably, this album also features the band’s fourth lead singer in that time as well, as John Cuijpers takes over for Mike Freeland. The core of the band, the Troy brothers, is of course still intact and second guitarist Andy Burgess remains as well.
Musically, LEGACY is right in line with Praying Mantis’ established “NWOBHM mixed with hard rock” style so the band’s fans will feel right at home here. As much as I enjoy the heavy cuts, it’s actually some of the more melodic songs that impress the most, particularly “Eyes of a Child” and the easy-to-sing-along-with “Believable”. The more up-tempo “The Runner” impresses as well. Vocally, Cuijpers fits right in with a smooth, strong sound that complements the music – hopefully he sticks around for more than one album!
There’s not much more to add here – LEGACY is yet another strong Praying Mantis album that will instantly please fans of the band. The Troy brothers have always released solid albums, and this is no different. The band has their own style and they’re obviously not looking to change it – they just do what they do. While I personally enjoyed SANCTUARY a bit more than this album (mostly due to a couple of weaker songs here, i.e. “Better Man”), I have yet to hear a Praying Mantis album that didn’t satisfy. If you haven’t heard this band yet, I recommend checking them out, and if you have heard them, stop reading and go get LEGACY!
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