The Gods 2000 in the Press

The Gods 2000 in the Press

From Fireworks
Magazine Issue 3 – Available from
FireworksMag@aol.com
. (This issue also has an Interview I took from all 5
members of the band)

Praying Mantis – The Gods 2000 , Maximes, Wigan, 4th Nov 2000 by
Dave Cockett

Having just witnessed a truly blistering set from Norway’s Street Legal, I
can’t say that I really envied Praying Mantis the task of going on next. A far
slicker, much more polished animal (at least on CD) than the brash young
upstarts who proceeded them, Praying Mantis have been treading the boards in one
form or another for over twenty now, so I guess they ought to know a thing or
two.

The first couple of numbers , "A cry for the New World" and "Children Of The
Earth" came over somewhat subdued, the band’s stage persona seemingly left back
in the dressing room at this point. With some dodgy harmonies (Not helped at all
by a very insipid mix), it seemed like their first UK show in an age would be a
big let down , indeed, if it wasn’t for the occasional flash of incisive guitar
work, I suspect more of the crowd might have headed back to the bar there and
then.

Fortunately for the band as soon as they launched into "Best Years" from the
recently reissued "Forever In Time", the sound miraculously got hell of a lot
better. The transformation both on and off stage was quite remarkable.
Particularly the interactions between guitarists Dennis Stratton and Tino Troy,
both finally waking up from a dirge induced stupor to play a blinder for the
rest of the set. It seemed that with the sound problems sorted Praying Mantis
were suddenly galvanised into action cranking out a couple of future crowd
favourites in the shape of the mystical "Nowhere To Hide" and seriously classy
"Can’t stop the fire". By Comparison "Rise up Again" with it’s half hearted
crowd sing-a-long and the galloping set closer "Turn The Tables" sounded a bit
to Iron Maiden by numbers for my tastes, especially when measured up against
some of the newer material from the last couple of albums.

From a shaky opening, Praying Mantis recovered well to win the day in the
end, though by all accounts they were much better a few weeks later in London
with Glenn Hughes.

 

From Burrn Magazine. Sorry I don't know which issue.

Praying Mantis – The Gods 2000 , Maximes, Wigan, 4th Nov 2000 by
Rob Evans

Having to follow the simply superb STREET LEGAL would have been a daunting
prospect for many a band but then again PRAYING MANTIS are not your average band
and they set about this gig with all the ease of the seasoned professionals that
they are. Having been in existence for nearly twenty five years and with ten cds
worth of material to choose from, picking a set was always going to be a hard
choice and adding to that difficulty was the fact that they where only allowed
45 minutes of allotted set time. This meant that classics like 'Captured City',
'Lovers to the Grave', 'Wasted Years' and 'Naked' all had to be omitted.

Even with those classics missing the band still delivered a highly polished
set of material that covered a time span of twenty-five years. They really are
one of this country's best kept secrets, hopefully that should be rectified with
the release of ' Nowhere to Hide ' their first domestic release for many a year.
Due to the currently dreadful English weather it took the band over ten hours to
get to the gig, all for just 45 minutes of music, but as Dennis Stratton said
from the stage ' It was worth every minute' and I couldn't agree with him more.
They opened their set with 'A cry for the new World' a song from their 1993 cd
of the same name and this song set out the bands stall right from the start.
This was a twin guitar assault of the finest order with both Stratton and Troy
delivering the goods in style and Tony O'Hora hitting notes that others can only
dream of. The next song 'Children of the Earth' was written over twenty five
years ago and appeared on their debut album and still sounds as fresh as it did
all those years ago, it featured some massive vocal harmonies on what was a
classic of the N.W.O.B.H.M . 'Best Years' was introduced as a song written by
Dennis Stratton and is to be found on the criminally overlooked 'Forever in
time' cd it showcased the exemplary twin guitar skills of both Stratton and Troy
and featured keyboards that were subtle and never intrusive. The title track and
'can't stop the Fire' off their most recent cd 'Nowhere to Hide' were next and
they just highlighted the enthusiasm for their music that this band still have
even after all these years together, as for the songs themselves they where
perfect slices of modern day Mantis.

The song of the set for me would have to be 'Rise up Again' from the 'Cry for
the new world' cd, this one had it all and was topped of by a stunning acappella
section that led into a sing-a-long version of Queens 'We will rock you' that
was just inspired. They finished the set as they started it full of enthusiasm
and left me in no doubt about their talents. The one thing I will add is the
fact that a lot of my fellow professionals, Phil included, all stated that
Mantis had a poor sound but seeing as I was at the front I can't really comment
on that, but what I will say is that what I did see and hear only confirmed what
a class act Praying Mantis are and hopefully the British public will wake up to
that fact pretty soon.

About

I have been a Praying Mantis fan since I first heard "Captured City" on Metal for Muthas. Time Tells No Lies has always been on of my favourite albums and I was overjoyed when I first discovered it was out on CD. I didn't know what had happened after the first album until in about 1994 I discovered "A Cry For The New World". I was worried about getting it as I thought it had to be a disappointment but I was wrong. I loved it and have followed the band and maintained this website ever since.

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