a l b u m r e v i e w s


Produced by: Praying Mantis

Released: OCT. 16 /
Relatives: Pink Cream 69, Ten, TNT
GENRE: Hard Rock

  1. Nowhere To Hide
  2. Cruel Winter
  3. The Clocktower
  4. Can't Stop The Fire
  5. Future Of The World
  6. Whenever I'm Lost
  7. You'll Never Know
  8. River Of Hope
  9. SOS

I will admit to this being my first experience with UK rockers Praying Mantis. A long time hit in Japan, it's just one of those band's that have escaped a wide release and therefore a lot of people's attention. From all reports this is the band's best album ever anyway, so maybe it's a good place to start.
I am pleased that I have this record. It surprised me with it's quality and in fact was softer than I had imagined it would be.
They look like your typical big in Japan Euro hard rockers, but there is more depth to the music than that.
Praying Mantis are hard rockers, but they include plenty of keyboards in the mix and have a great vocalist that brings even more melody to the songs.
He reminds me of Tony Harnell with a slightly deeper voice. The guys are partly progressive in nature, but unlike many of their counterparts remember that many listeners get bored after 5 minutes and make sure they clock in under that.
You could view this as a heavy AOR album or as a light melodic metal album. Either works!
The man thing that drives a successful album is the songs. Tracks like Nowhere To Hide, SOS, Future Of The World and Cruel Winter all contain enough first pumping anthems and multi-layered harmonies to satisfy most hard rock and AOR fans.
While this review is from the Japanese track listing, the European release by Frontiers will an additional bonus track Naked which is also a very important one as it is dedicated to Tino Troy's son death and it is an 8 minute epic.
BOTTOM LINE: The guys have recorded and album that stays true to their European melodic metal genre, but crosses into mainstream AOR enough to mellow the album to allow access to a style of melodic rock that is sometimes hard to get to know. For those that are curious and have seen many like releases come and go, don't let this one past you.
For those that are already converted to the ways on the European's, this is one of the better releases.
ESSENTIAL FOR: Fans of good European hard rock / melodic metal.

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