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Praying Mantis – Katharsis Award winner

Praying Mantis
by Metal Wim at 13 March 2022, 2:53 PM

PRAYING MANTIS have been going for more than 40 years, and I don’t know how they do it, but it seems that age is not a factor for these guys. Maybe it has helped that the Dutch additions have given them a new lease of life. Singer John JayCee Cuijpers and drummer Hans in ‘t Zandt are very enthusiastic, but above also very good at what they do. And that might have helped giving the original members the proverbial kick on the arse to get their act together and keep up with them.

Whatever or however it has come together doesn’t really matter, but it’s a fact that PRAYING MANTIS hasn’t released a lesser album since these guys are part of the band. And with “Katharsis” they just keep on piling on the high-quality Melodic Rock. Because even if they started in the NWOBHM era, they have always been one of the most Melodic bands out there. And they not only stood out because of their music, but also because they had (and still have) a knack for using the right packaging for their musical endeavours. Now as well, as “Katharsis” has a very subdued cover for a band like PRAYING MANTIS. It suits the title of the album.

Musically the band have surpassed themselves. They have never sounded more coherent than on “Katharsis”. And the order of the songs is also absolutely spot-on. They easily flow from on to another, making listening to it an absolute pleasure. Plus, with singer John JayCee Cuijpers they have a man who can sing just about everything you ask him too. He also has never sounded better than here. The lyrics often do read like they have been written to have a cathartic effect. They do affect the atmosphere, because a number of the songs deal with the aftermath of someone in the vicinity leaving the game of life. I must say that even though I felt they sing about it a lot, it all is done in good taste and with very understandable and emphatic lyrics. Thankfully these feelings and dealings are interrupted by lighter material word-wise, like “Long Time Coming”.

All together it is to be said that PRAYING MANTIS has once again hit the Bullseye with “Katharsis”. Brilliant Melodic Rock that will take over your senses once you start listening to it. It will put you in a dreamlike state, while giving you food for thought about the longevity of life at the same time.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Cry For The Nations
2. Closer To Heaven
3. Ain’t No Rock ‘N’ Roll In Heaven
4. Non Omnis Moriar
5. Long Time Coming
6. Sacrifice
7. Wheels In Motion
8. Masquerade
9. Find Our Way Back Home
10. Don’t Call Us Now
11. The Devil Never Changes
John JayCee Cuijpers – Lead Vocals
Andy Burgess – Guitars & Vocals
Tino Troy - Guitars & Vocals
Chris Troy – Bass & Vocals
Hans in ‘t Zandt - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music


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