top of page

Praying Mantis – Defiance

(Frontiers Music - 2024)

(Style: NWOBHM / Rock)

Praying Mantis have been the bastions of NWOBHM for 50 years! Their debut ‘Time Tells No Tales’ remains an absolute classic of the genre, but it saw nearly 10 years between that release and its follow up’ ‘Predator In Disguise’.

Throughout brothers Chris & Tino Troy have guided the group through many changes and reshuffles, most notably with vocalists, Paul Di’anno, Doogie White and Gary Barden having passed through their ranks, each adding something unique to the albums they have been involved in.

During their 50 years they have maintained a strong following, particularly in Japan. Their music has evolved and gone in various styles. Despite this Praying Mantis have always delivered excellent albums. This is their 13th studio effort and it sees them close to the top of their melodic brand of NWOBHM. 

It is fair to say that the band have faced their share of adversity which is possibly why their 50th anniversary album is called ‘Defiance’. Vocalist, Jaycee Cuijpers takes the microphone on this offering, which sees the band head towards a Rainbow sound. This comes across loud and clear with a cover of ‘I Surrender’ which saw Ritchie Blackmore continue to trouble the charts with Rainbow in his AOR, American style, to the disdain of many I might add.

I will also have to mention my personal dislike of covers as a main part of an album, especially when it stays close to original. In this case it follows the quite infectious ‘Feelin’ Lucky’ which has a ravishing, rhythmic, racing beat. I feel ‘Surrender’ breaks the flow of the album so far, it should have come last.

Chris & Tino have maintained their ability to write catchy hooks and with the already mentioned vocalist the album features the talents of drummer Hans in’t Zandt and guitarist Andy Burgess, who keeps those duelling guitars alive. It is a varied affair as it continues to capture the essence of their lengthy career.

Praying Mantis have always adorned their albums with exceptional artwork, the one on ‘Defiance’ does stand out, but for me is a bit to dark for the music within. Stand out songs are ‘Give It Up’ with its catchy chorus, the quite delicate, ‘One Heart’ the instrumental ‘Night Swim’ is a nice touch.

Praying Mantis have always defied the odds & been defiant, support this release and celebrate 50 years with them. Another song that deserves a mention is ‘Standing Tall’ which is kind of electro with an earworm of a riff and great vocals. Blimey just look at the track listing and this album just gets better with each track.

Nice one lads!

By Paul Mace

bottom of page