RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Praying Mantis –Legacy 
Napalm Records

Rating: B

The Black Sheep of the NWOBHM era, Praying Mantis is back, having unleashed another tasty slab of melodic rock with their new album titled Legacy

Having broken free of the NWOBHM tag after their debut, Praying Mantis has had a somewhat bizarre and baffling rock ‘n’ roll journey. Anchored since their inception by Tino and Chris Troy, on guitar and bass respectfully, they’ve had some interesting band memberships throughout the years. A sanctuary for ex-Maiden members Clive Burr, Dennis Stratton, and even Paul DiAnno, have all filed rank within the past 35 years.  But since the ‘90s when Praying Mantis came back as a melodic rock powerhouse, the musician line-up changes constantly with a revolving door of lead singers (including such famous names as Gary Barden and Doogie White), and their studio releases were always melodic rock gold.

Now in 2015, Legacy, their 10th release, via Frontier Records, the Troy brothers and Mantis veteran guitarist Andrew Burgess have recruited newbies with Dutch powerhouse vocalist John “Jaycee” Cuijpers, and drummer Hans in’t Zandt. 

Legacy has a number of rockers. “Fight for Your Honour” opens up this release and the band hits stride right out of the gate.  “Tokyo” is a catchy formulaic melodic rock gem; the band has always had a huge following in Japan, so it’s nice to see them paying lyrical tribute.  “The Runner” picks up the pace and lets the guitars cut loose. “Second Time Around” ends the album as it started, but a bit faster and heavier.

There are two highlights to mention: The first being the track, “Better Man”, which could easily be voted best melodic rock song of 2015.  It possesses a power that is breathtaking and beautiful.  Jaycee Cuijpers vocals soar all over this song.  Speaking of Jaycee, he is the 2nd highlight on this album. Jaycee has the power, the range, and voice that make this album shine.  The album suffers a bit from a few ‘musically weak’ tracks, but Jaycee delivers big each and every time, rescuing anything mediocre and making it sound majestic.  

Legacy is a very good album, and the band has found, I think, their best voice ever in Jaycee Cuijpers.  Jaycee has the goods to be rock and roll dynamo that can carry this band well into the future. The band wisely displays his vocal talents all over Legacy.  Let’s hope it lasts long enough for JC album #2.  Fans of Praying Mantis and melodic rock will find a lot to love here.   

Track Listing:

  1. Fight For Your Honour
    02. The One
    03. Believable
    04. Tokyo
    05. Better Man
    06. All I See
    07. Eyes Of A Child
    08. The Runner
    09. Against The World
    10. Fallen Angel
    11. Second Time Around

By Dan Toner