Record Label: Frontiers Music SRL
Release Date: 21st August 2015
Genre: Melodic Hard Rock
John Cuijpers – Lead Vocals
Tino Troy – Guitars & Vocals
Chris Troy – Bass & Vocals
Andy Burgess – Guitars & Vocals
Hans in‘t Zandt – Drums
01. Fight for Your honour
02. The One
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
Another line-up change in and Praying Mantis are back with their 10th studio album ‘Legacy’. Featuring 11 tracks of melodic hard rock the beast is certainly unleashed. Featuring new vocalist Jaycee Cuijpers and drummer Hans In’t Zandtnew dimensions have been added to this album giving it a whole new flavour in comparison to previous projects and rightly so, this is definitely a well-practiced and matured band that know their instruments.
Track 1 entitled ‘Fight for your Honour’ is a cracking listen. Pure guitar tones and melodic sounds last throughout whilst the heavy and powerful riffs do the talking. It’s that good of a start that when you have a song as good as this to open up an album you wonder if the rest are able to do just as well. Pleasingly, this is the case for Praying Mantis.
A band that you won’t get tired of hearing ‘Legacy’ may possibly be my favourite album of 2015 so far. The new material featured on this record is certainly a symbol as to why Praying Mantis became one of the most influential bands in British Heavy Metal. ‘Legacy’ is a feel good album for any occasion with high energy, believable sounds, harmonies and all. For that I am transported back to Metal AOR heaven.
Talking about the album as a whole I want to mention how the production is second to none. The whole new musical performances are captured and mixed together perfectly, layering one finely over the other, a contemporary success. Rocking beats, melodic tracks and heavy riffs give this album a perfect balance between Metal and AOR.
Another impressive track that stands out is ‘Believable’ building throughout and as a result creating a big song that climaxes to an epic harmonic section before ending on a tender note ‘Believable’.
Twin guitars prove that Praying Mantis aren’t giving up their heavy Metal Rock roots just yet but drive the album with melodic riffs and ballad structured songs from the very get go. The songwriting strikes me as epic and dramatic something that makes this album a potential best from this band.
Jaycee Cuijpers being a somewhat unknown is surely about to change as this vocal performance shows just how singing in a rock band is done. Distinctive and passionate, I’m liking it. I hear similarities in vocal style to those of the late great Ronnie James Dio and this works well on such a fiery album.
With high energy and spirit it’s like a well needed blast from the past. The guitar partnerships between Andy and Tino are as fresh as ever reminding me of the melodic style Journey once had. As the album played on I also noticed similar approaches to the music structures of Iron Maiden but remaining very AOR with the melodic influences. Throughout the album we hear some powerful chords, aggressive riff, hard drum beats and melodic keys finished off with striking and energetic vocals.
‘Eyes of a Child’ another track on the album demonstrates just how vocally flexible Jaycee is. This is very impressive and I believe a change in the line-up is a great move for the upward direction of the band. I reckon Praying Mantis could become even more popular than before, if this is even possible.
Track 9 ‘Against the World’ another pleasing listen. This song features big musicianship and keeps you hooked throughout. I actually played this song more than three times the first time I heard the album.
‘Legacy’ is a brilliant album, the best one I’ve heard from them yet.
Written by: Alex Alicia Firth
Ratings: Alex Alicia 10/10