Hard Rock / NWoBHM / Heavy Metal • United Kingdom — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of
Praying Mantis are an English rock band. Although a part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) scene, they pursued a musical direction more melodic and AOR-sounding than their contemporaries.

Their formation considerably pre-dated NWOBHM. They were formed in 1974 by the Troy brothers, both college students. Like several NWOBHM bands they made their first available recording at Neal Kay's Soundhouse recording studio, which was released as the Soundhouse Tapes EP in 1979. 1980 saw their profile considerably raised with support slots for Iron Maiden and Ronnie Montrose's Gamma. The attention won them a recording contract with Arista Records and they released their best-known work Time Tells No Lies in 1981. Management and line-up instability undermined their success and Arista dropped them. The following year they signed for Jet Records, but two subsequent singles flopped and the band folded. They had recorded a version of the Russ Ballard penned track
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PRAYING MANTIS albums / top albums

PRAYING MANTIS Time Tells No Lies album cover 4.25 | 4 ratings
Time Tells No Lies
NWoBHM 1981
PRAYING MANTIS Predator in Disguise album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Predator in Disguise
Hard Rock 1991
PRAYING MANTIS A Cry for the New World album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
A Cry for the New World
Hard Rock 1993
PRAYING MANTIS To the Power of Ten album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
To the Power of Ten
Hard Rock 1995
PRAYING MANTIS Forever in Time album cover 3.58 | 3 ratings
Forever in Time
Heavy Metal 1998
PRAYING MANTIS Nowhere to Hide album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nowhere to Hide
Hard Rock 2000
PRAYING MANTIS The Journey Goes On album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Journey Goes On
Hard Rock 2003
PRAYING MANTIS Sanctuary album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Heavy Metal 2009
PRAYING MANTIS Legacy album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Hard Rock 2015


PRAYING MANTIS Captured City album cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
Captured City
NWoBHM 1979
PRAYING MANTIS Cheated album cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
NWoBHM 1980
PRAYING MANTIS Turn the Tables album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Turn the Tables
NWoBHM 1982
PRAYING MANTIS This Time Girl album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
This Time Girl
Hard Rock 1991
PRAYING MANTIS Only The Children Cry album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Only The Children Cry
Heavy Metal 1993
PRAYING MANTIS Metalmorphosis album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Heavy Metal 2011

PRAYING MANTIS live albums

PRAYING MANTIS Live at Last album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Live at Last
Heavy Metal 1990
PRAYING MANTIS Keep It Alive album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Keep It Alive
Hard Rock 2019

PRAYING MANTIS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

PRAYING MANTIS re-issues & compilations

PRAYING MANTIS Demorabilia album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Heavy Metal 1999
PRAYING MANTIS The Best of Praying Mantis album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best of Praying Mantis
Hard Rock 2004

PRAYING MANTIS singles (3)

.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
Captured City
NWoBHM 1979
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Praying Mantis
NWoBHM 1980
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
All Day and All of the Night
NWoBHM 1980

PRAYING MANTIS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)



Live album · 2019 · Hard Rock
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Kev Rowland
Rodney Matthews, the Troy brothers, ‘Metal For Muthas’, when someone mentions Praying Mantis to me, I always tend to think of the same things. There is no doubt there was a brief period when they were mentioned alongside some of the greats of the NWOBHM movement, and they rightfully deserved their place on one of the most important compilations of all time, and “Captured City” is a great song. That number opens this set, but when reviewing again the 1980 release, it is worth noting that only one of the bands were allowed two songs instead of one, and while some of the other groups did continue for a while, none of them ever had anything like the success of Maiden, with two of the other groups actually giving members to that band (Samson, White Spirit).

Their debut album, in 1981, some seven years after they were originally formed, ‘Time Tells No Lies’ had a cover by Rodney Matthews, but within a few years the band was gone. They reformed again in the 90’s and have been releasing and playing on and off since then. The current line-up is of course Tino Troy (guitar, vocals) and his brother Chris (bass, vocals), along with Andy Burgess (guitar) and newest members Hans in’t Zandt (drums) and singer John 'Jaycee' Cuijpers. This set was recorded live at the Frontiers Rock Festival V in Milan, Italy on 28th April 2018, and it must be said the audience were up for it and even sang “Happy Birthday” at one point. It also seems that this is an unadulterated live recording as there are a few duff notes here and there, while Cuijpers certainly misses some of the higher ones, in which case the harmony vocals must be what were being performed that night and all credit to the guys as they are very good indeed.

This is exactly the sort of album I would expect from Praying Mantis to be honest. They were only contenders for a very brief period of their career, but they have kept going through sheer determination and a refusal to give in. The songs are okay, but not brilliant, as is the musicianship, and the result is something which any fan of melodic hard rock will probably enjoy without ever getting too excited. Singer Cuijpers certainly feels the band are far larger than they are in reality, and one wonders if that is because he normally plies his trade in tribute bands (a quick glance at EM lists him currently being in Foreigner, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden and Van Halen cover acts).

I was 16 in 1979 when NWOBHM started to gain traction and the metal scene in the UK started to explode. I sought out independent releases, read everything Deaf Barton had to say about it, and listened to TV on the Radio. To be honest, even though I was seeking out bands like Angel Witch, Mythra, Chainsaw, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Handsome Beasts and so many others, I never bought any Praying Mantis releases in their heyday, and have not looked for any since then (even though Dennis Stratton was with the band for years when they reformed, and I always liked him). Having listened to this I do not think I have really missed out on anything, and while I may watch them at a festival such as this one, I may also feel inspired to go to the bar.

PRAYING MANTIS Metalmorphosis

EP · 2011 · Heavy Metal
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"Metalmorphosis" is a celebration EP to mark Praying Mantis' 30 years of career, and if you've been around in early 80s, you probably know songs like "Children of The Earth" or "Lovers To The Grave" from their debut, "Time Tells No Lies". The sole reason of this release is probably to treat long time fans with re-recorded classics for nostalgic purpose and to offer two obscure tracks from their pre-debut session, all with new singer, Mike Freeland.

"Children of The Earth" is perhaps the best of the bunch. The intro riffs are killer, the dual guitar attack with tight harmony vocals on chorus are tremendous, and the solo guitar is a total blast. Mantis plays with different tempo on this song to give a dynamic twist. "Praying Mantis" is reminiscent of Maiden early style, a good track, along with the other number, "Panic In The Streets". "Lovers To The Grave" which sounded very 70s, the vintage choir singing style and the thrilling solos are the main attraction, but the whole track is quite decent to me. "Captured City" is a wonderful uptempo tune with magnificent solos, this is as great as "Children", and since you can't find this in their debut, this makes "Metalmorphosis" worth to buy.

However, I found the production level is quite low, raw and almost like demo quality to me. The instruments are audible but Mark Freeland's vocal is a bit swallowed behind. The top notch guitar works are the selling point of this record, but if only the production is better and they throw in couple of new songs, this can be a champion, otherwise, this might be the best buy only for Mantis fans.

PRAYING MANTIS Forever in Time

Album · 1998 · Heavy Metal
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Following the departure of Gary Barden, Praying Mantis recruited Tony O'Hora from Onslaught for the replacement and launched "Forever In Time" in 1998. Still applying the same formula which is a keyboard-driven heavy metal, Praying Mantis found his base in Japan where their music was heavily embraced and appraised.

If at times, you see a resemblance in their music with Iron Maiden, maybe that's because one of their guitarist, Dennis Stratton, was briefly in Maiden for a year in 1979, and dropped that influence on this band's songbook. By incorporating Def Leppard's harmonic vocals style and heavily dominated by keyboard sound, I think Praying Mantis' musical style is very close to early Europe, if you have heard their first two albums with heavy songs such as "In The Future To Come" or "Stormwind".

Out of 10 tracks presented here, none of them are bad but only a few that outshined the others. Another problem here is that Praying Mantis just can't write a timeless hit like what Maiden did with "Run To The Hills" or "Hallowed Be Thy Name", and that's why with many solid and great songs, it's still far from the so-called masterpiece.

My favorite picks here, to name a few, are "The Messiah", "Best Years", the ballad "Remember My Name" that reminds me of Steelheart's "She's Gone", "The Day The Sun Turned Cold", and the title track, "Forever In Time".

This album, should I say again, although lacks of punching memorable riffs and lines, is still a well-rounded record, nice and tight playing, outstanding vocal delivery, awesome harmonization, and even though the production sounds a bit outdated for a year-1998-technology, this is a great effort by the band that's worth every penny spent.


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