|Review: Praying Mantis - Metalmorphosis|
Year released: 2011
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: February 16, 2011
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Anyone who is even remotely familiar with the NWOBHM has at least heard OF Praying Mantis, if not actually HEARD them. One of the early and more popular bands of that movement, they never achieved much more that a moderate level of success. Still, the band has been kicking around for over 30 years, occasionally putting out albums of Heavy Metal tinged with Hard Rock. Founding members Chris (bass) and Tino (guitar) Troy have got a new lineup together and, in preparation of a new album, have re-recorded some of the band's older songs for the EP Metalmorphosis, to be released through the band's website.
Metalmorphosis contains three tracks that originally appeared on Praying Mantis' debut, Time Tells no Lies, and two from earlier demos. It sounds exactly like you would expect a NWOBHM album from 1981 to sound like; a blend 70s Hard Rock, a la Uriah Heep, and Di'anno-era Iron Maiden Heavy Metal. The comparisons to Maiden are apt, as three ex-members, Paul Di'anno, Dennis Stratton and Clive Burr, all spent short stints in Praying Mantis. The riffs are smooth, not sharp, and the keyboards sound more like the electric organ you might hear on a Deep Purple record. The new band plays these old hits with lots of energy and they sound authentically '81. Most of the songs move along at a mid-paced tempo, while some of the slower stuff, like "Lovers to the Grave," sound eerily like the slower sections of Maiden songs such as "Charlotte the Harlot" or "Strange World."
Metalmorphosis is Heavy Metal, but in that NWOBHM way, not like today, so set your expectations appropriately. If you like the classic sounds of Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and early Iron Maiden, Praying Mantis' Metalmorphosis will be a sweet little trip back in time.
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