As I sit here for what seems like hours looking at a
blank screen and listening to the brand new album by Praying Mantis “Sanctuary”
it occurs to me that this brilliant album is going to be damn hard to try and
put into words. The feelings and emotions I feel when I listen to “Sanctuary”
are indescribable; it puts me in my happy place!!! The resurrection of Praying
Mantis began in the summer 2007 when they played at the Bang Your Head Festival.
Consisting of original members the Troy brothers on guitar & bass Benjy Reid on
drums, Andy Burgess on guitar and Mike Freeland on vocals.
“Sanctuary” is filled with plenty of great melodies
that will stay in your head for days. The lead and harmony guitar work is
sensational with great solos, all filled with just enough keyboards. I must say,
the most impressive thing on “Sanctuary” is the singer Mike Freeland,
sensational. At times he reminds me Terry Ilous from XYZ in parts and I can even
hear some Michael Kiske. Were ever they found Mike they need to keep a tight
hold on him. I personally think he makes this album.
This is classic English melodic rock/AOR. Think
bands like TEN, Bob Catley (Magnum) and Whitesnake. I really can’t pick any one
good song, because there is no filler on “Sanctuary” just 10 cracking rock
anthems. But in saying that, “Sanctuary” won’t knock you off your feet the first
listen. You need to take the time to let the songs unravel and discover their
beauty. This is a well put together album by some real professional musicians
and it tells. If you get the chance to see Praying Mantis over the summer you
should not hesitate to go & make sure you buy a copy of “Sanctuary” a must have
album for any rock fan.