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Articles Home » 2009 Articles » Praying Mantis - 2009 Sanctuary
Praying Mantis - 2009 Sanctuary

ARTIST: Praying Mantis
ALBUM: Sanctuary
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Tino Troy - guitars, keyboards, vocals * Chris Troy - bass, keyboards, vocals * Mike Freeland - vocals * Andy Burgess - guitars * Benjy Reid - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 In Time * 02 Restless Heart * 03 Tears In The Rain * 04 So High * 05 Lonely Way Home * 06 Touch The Rainbow * 07 Threshold Of A Dream * 08 Playing God * 09 Highway * 10 Sanctuary



A couple of weeks back, Kelv Hellrazer bumped into Tino Troy at a local gig. I wonder if Tino gave Kelv a tip to suggest that the new Praying Mantis album would be a blinder? If he did, then he'd be right on the money. Perhaps I should get a few Lotto tips from ol 'Tino! Regularly featured here at GLORY-DAZE over the years, Praying Mantis have been remarkable not only for their longevity but also their consistency. NWOBHM fans can take you right back to the dawn of that movement and cast PM in a positive light. All through their discography, there is a lot to like about this band, and this is evidenced very much in 2009 with their latest album 'Sanctuary'. Quite clearly, this album will appeal to all the AORsters out there. The new lineup of the band, mainly through singer Mike Freeland (who has been onboard since 2007, but this is his first recording with PM) adds a very commercial flavour. Think Place Vendome, Brazen Abbot, Frontline in places.. you get my drift. Apparently Freeland didn't set the world on fire at his 2007 debut live gig, but I can assure listeners, this guy has a great set of pipes.

The Songs
The band have been signed to Frontiers for a little while now, and 'Sanctuary' is perhaps one of the best PM albums for a long while. It's like a Vintner discovering the secret to creating a superb wine. Somehow, the Troy brothers have similarly discovered a secret recipe that they've been able to unleash in the studio to stupendous effect. Combining AOR and melodic strains of classic rock, Praying Mantis could be to 2009 what Uriah Heep were to 1982 with 'Abominog'! Tall praise indeed, but upon listening, you'll hear a magic mix of fine vocals, strapping boisterous guitars, with the occasional dash and dab of keyboards to fill up the vacuum. It's damn hard to find a weakness here.. I'm enjoying the Joe Lynn Turner flavour of 'So High', the exquisite ballad 'Lonely Way Home' or the very AOR sounding pair of 'Tears In The Rain' and 'Highway'. The band aren't fearful of letting it all hang out, check out the fast-paced Place Vendome soundalike 'Touch The Rainbow', or the heavied up 'Threshold Of A Dream'.

In Summary
Without doubt for me, 'Sanctuary' is easily in the top bracket of Frontiers releases for 2009 thus far, alongside Sunstorm at present. Producer Andy Reilly has done a terrific job all round, can't find any faults at all.Though this is the band's first album since 2003, you'd swear these guys had been on the scene more recently than that. For us here at GLORY-DAZE, a welcome return from Praying Mantis. And yeah.. keep the name of that vocalist handy.. Mike Freeland.

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#1 | george_the_jack on July 09 2009 19:14:30
This band is Phenomenal! Probably the most underrated English band ever...I love all their albums and this is no exception. I have always considered them a Maiden's great AOR-ish brain child. Troy bros are musical geniuses....Although Dennis Stratton is missing from the recipe. Certainly, one of the winners for the year 2009!
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