PRAYING MANTIS
SANCTUARY

Genre: Heavy Metal
Format: CD

Catalogue Number: FR CD 416
Barcode: 8024391041628

Release Date: 05-06-2009

The music is again very personal with plenty of great melodies and songs.



ALBUM DETAIL

Praying Mantis started back in 1977 when Spanish-Greek brothers Tino and Chris Troy, founded the band and recorded a demo which received great acclaim in the british Heavy Metal scene. The famous DJ Neal Kay often played their songs and thanks to his support, three of the demo tracks were finally published in 1979 as a maxi-single entitled "The Soundhouse Tapes". Another demo song was later included in the "Metal For Muthas" compilation, the same one which launched Iron Maiden to the stardom!

Praying Mantis were therefore able to support the first Iron Maiden UK tour and later went on to record their debut album with Dave Potts (ex Ten Years After) on drums and Steve Carroll on guitars and vocals. "Time Tells No Lies" is still considered as one of the best expressions of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal phenomenon, even though it did not have much commercial fortune.

The band decided then to add a new singer (ex Grand Prix and later Uriah Heep, Bernie Shaw) and a keyboard player in order to give more depth to their sound. With this line up, Praying Mantis recorded a single "Turn The Tables" and again appeared on the bill of the Reading Festival.

A new line-up change (ex Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr entered the band) brought later also a name change: as STRATUS, the band toured the UK and released the album "Throwing Shapes" in 1985.

In 1990 Praying Mantis finally reformed with a new line-up featuring two further ex-Iron Maiden cohorts: Paul Di'Anno (on vocals) and Dennis Stratton (on guitar), with Bruce Bisland on drums, thanks to the interest of some Japanese promoters releasing a live album ("Live At Last") in 1990 recorded during that tour. The success gained in the Eastern lands, convinced the band about the possibility of a permanent reunion and with a renewed line-up (the band featured in this time ex MSG singer Gary Barden, then Mark Thompson-Smith and later Tony O'Hora on vocals) they released six studio and one live album.

After the release in 2003 of "The Journey Goes On", an album that featured different singers, most notably John Sloman (ex Lone Star) and Dougie White (Malmsteen, Rainbow) the band went into a sort of hiatus period, which was broken in the summer of 2007, when a new incarnation of the band - formed by the Troy brothers with Benjy Reid on drums, Andy Burgess on guitars and Mike Freeland on vocals - appeared at the Bang Your Head festival and later - in the summer 2008 - at the Headbanger's Open Air Festival in Germany and at the Bloodstock Festival in the UK, while writing and recording the brand new stunning studio album.

Entitled "Sanctuary" the new Lp was recorded in Atlanta, USA under the direction of producer/engineer Andy Reilly (Asia, The Cult, Bruce Dickinson, FM etc). The music is again very personal with plenty of great melodies and songs. The mix of lead and harmony guitar breaks and solos with great vocals and keyboards is fantastic with an overall songwriting on the highest levels all over. What we have here is a band that contains some very fine and experienced musicians who have put together a collection of songs that create a really classic album. A truly welcomed return !

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