Praying Mantis were at the forefront of the NWOBHM movement.
Although never attaining the same commercial success as their stable mates, they have maintained a strong AOR output and loyal fan base. Legacy is the bands first album of original material in 6 years. For the loyal this will be reason enough for celebration, but this recording is also the first with vocalist John "Jaycee" Cuijpers and drummer Hans in't Zandt. Stylistically these Dutchmen have added a more European metal flavour to the band, which may be complementary depending on which side of the genre fence you sit. Either way they deliver the goods with Jaycee providing some much needed stunning powerhouse vocals that have occasionally been amiss due to PM's many lineup switches. One could only wonder what it would be like when he gets his teeth into journeyman or Best Years – or to be honest any of the back catalogue!
The album opener, Fight For Your Honour, is full on melodic rock and a chance for the newbies to earn their stripes. They certainly pass the test.
The Onehas that compulsory 'air grab' rock feel and a really strong chorus and those stirring harmonies. From the power chord opening we know that classic rock fans everywhere will be grinning with glee and ready for some serious rockin'! Believablemakes use of the keys which add a different layer to the straight up rock - it's also one of the most killer songs on the album.
Better Man has a darker feel and is a welcoming change in tempo with some well balanced guitar, but look out for the false ending. Second Time Round blasts us back into PM's usual up beat style. There's bags of NWOBHM style duel guitar and harmonies too along the way too. Eyes Of A Childhas a mystical feel and is a return to the traditional PM sound as is The Runner which really gives the new line up a chance to let rip. Let's not forget the rest of the band, Tino Troy and Andy Burgess are on fire and Chris Troy is still laying down some solid foundations as the glue of the band on bass. Tokyo pays romantic homage to the country that has embraced their music throughout the years. Against The Worldshows all the signs of a band that are once again on form and offer Jaycee a chance to show off his vox. The album has a vintage feel to it which categorises much of PM's work, only its polished production distinguishes it from earlier material. Whilst hard core Mantis fans will certainly revel in the unveiling of Legacy, AOR fans will find that there is still the versatility of earlier efforts like Nothing To Hide and Crying For A New World. Praying Mantis have still got bags of rock bravado, invigorated by some fantastic new blood, making Legacy an album worthy of its name.