Rock United.com ‘Sanctuary’ review
PRAYING MANTIS: “Sanctuary” 8
Frontiers 2009Review by Alan Holloway,
8th June 2009
Well here’s a surprise – when I saw Praying mantis last year I wasn’t really that impressed, so when I was asked to review “Sanctuary” I expected a NWOBHM flavoured slice of average pie. What Praying Mantis have delivered is a very nice AOR album that could just see them reinvented as a growing concern in the melodic rock scene. I know – who would have thought it?
The main reason for this change in direction seems to be vocalist Mike Freeland, who has a great, pitch perfect voice in the higher register, almost reaching Steve Perry territory during the chorus during the appropriately named “So High”. Let’s not forget the rest of the band here, as the playing on “Sanctuary” is exemplary, including some really nice guitar work from Andy Burgess and founder member Tino Troy. Troy’s brother Chris, who plays bass, has written some great songs here, and as a result, “Sanctuary” can hold it’s head up amongst many of the better melodic rock albums out there today.
If you like a good dose of Journey or Boston then this is an album that should really appeal to you, although Praying Mantis still manage to keep a good dose of their own identity. When “Sanctuary” works, it works very well indeed, and I have to recommend it to any and all fans of quality melodic rock out there.