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Praying Mantis
Metalmorphosis: 30th Anniversary EP (Special Edition)
May 2011
Released: 2011, Indie
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: JP

Over the years he band have become a bit of 90’s era band. Seriously. Many people erroneously associate the band with the 80’s and the NWOBHM, even though the vast majority of their musical output was in the 90’s. Take that Grunge rock! The band took a 10-year hiatus after their 1981 debut and in 9 years churned out 5 full-length studio albums between 1991 and 2000.

The band is still going strong and to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the debut album TIME TELLS NO LIES, the band have released a five-cut EP of songs from the debut that they have, naturally, re-recorded. Anything recorded 30 years later is going to sound different, not necessarily better, just different. The cover art is low-budget and needs refinement. The album title is pretty uninspired, there are already have a dozen bands that have an album called METALMORPHOSIS. Those minor complaints aside, this is a pretty low-key type of release, with some of the proceeds going to the Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami Relief efforts. The band is doing it themselves so ya gotta give them credit.

The straight-ahead classic Metal songs might sound dated to younger fans but this is what Metal was back in the day. The band has evolved over the years into a more melodic proposition but it’s nice to hear the roots, the guitar harmonies, big choruses, tastefully soloing, overtop the simple driving eats. It’s hard to think that this was cutting edge and dangerous 30 years ago. Love those keyboard tones, even today in 2011 they sound like it is 1981 all over again. Mike Freeland does a solid job on vocals and the rest of the band is in the pocket.

So give or take a few points for nostalgia (or not) but for those of us who do remember the songs from first time around, this is a neat little EP done right by a band of veterans celebrating a truly impressive milestone.
Track Listing

1. Children Of The Earth
2. Praying Mantis
3. Lovers To The Grave
4. Panic In The Streets
5. Captured City


Mike Freeland-Vocals
Andy Burgess-Gguitar
Tino Troy-Guitar
Chris Troy-Bass
Benjy Reid-Drums

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