Praying Mantis - 'Legacy'
Tino Troy - guitar & vocals
Chris Troy - bass & vocals
Andy Burgess - guitar
John “Jaycee” Cuijpers - vocals
Hans In T Zandt - drums
1.) "Fight For Your Honour" - This track opens with three quarter-notes and one triplet-note that included the entire band. There was a small keyboard connecting this opening with the main musical intro. There was a small sixteenth-note musical arrangement leading into the minor lead solo. For the main musical intro there was a minor lead guitar solo. The minor lead guitar solo was recorded as a twin lead guitar solo. Beside the twin guitar minor solo one of the main two musical arrangements that caught my ear was the bass and drum line. Instead of opening with a verse the song lyric arrangement opens with a chorus arrangement. There was a huge tom-tom fill connecting the opening chorus with the first musical verse. For the musical verse there was a complete arrangement change. There was a tom-tom fill connecting the musical verse with the musical pre-chorus. Hans ued the same tom-tom fill to connect the pre-chorus with the third chorus. After what is the third chorus there was a minor led guitar solo connecting it with the second verse. It sounded as if this minor solo was the same twin lead guitar solo that the band used for the intro section. The lead vocals for the lyrical verses of this song was amazing!!! After I believe what would be the fifth chorus there was an amazing lead guitar solo. After the lead guitar solo there was a breakdown section that had a couple of lead guitar licks underneath the lead vocal lines. At the end of the breakdown connecting it with what would be the fifth chorus there was a snare drum and tom-tom fill. Over this pattern there was a very cool little bass line. This track did not consist of a major lead guitar solo section.
2.) "The One" - This intro consisted of a lead guitar arrangement over the top of a separate rhythm guitar arrangement. The lead guitar arrangement of the intro sounded a lot like the stuff Zack Smith played on Scandel's album 'Warrior' released on August 21, 1984. The ride cymbal Hans used for the musical intro had a very nice crisp sound to it. The lead guitar riff runs underneath the first lyric line of the verse. The way Jaycee accented the last lyric of the first verse had a Patty Smyth sound to it. For the musical verse the band switched to just one rhythm guitar. The first lyric line of the second verse consisted of a small echo attached to it. For the second verse the band kicked-in a second rhythm guitar arrangement. There was a musical arrangement change for the musical chorus. The choruses were very simply arranged with huge hoofs attached to it. After the third chorus there was a breakdown section. The breakdown section lead to a lead guitar solo. Over the top of the lead guitar solo there was several led and backing vocals.
3.) "Believable" - This intro opened with a keyboard arrangement. The keyboard consisted of three keyboard riffs connected by musical rests. The keyboard had an echo attached to it that ran over the top of the musical rest. After the third echo there was a eighth-note bass drum kick along with an eighth-note tom-tom pattern. This kicked-n the main intro section. The main intro section consisted of a minor twin lead guitar solo. For the first musical verse the last lyric of the first three lyric lines had a small echo attached to it connecting it to the next lyric line. For this There was a short tom-tom fill connecting the first and second measures of the verse. first measure the keyboard was the main instrumentation underneath the lyric lines. Then underneath the lyric lines of the second measure of the first verse the rhythm guitar was the main instrumentation. This was an a amazing songwriting style!!! There was a musical arrangement change for the musical chorus. There was a minor twin lead guitar solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse. The choruses had huge vocal hooks attached to them. After the second chorus there was a second minor lead guitar solo. After the second minor lead guitar solo there was a musical breakdown section. There was a huge major lead guitar solo. There was a third or fourth minor lead guitar solo leading into and throughout the coda.
4.) "Tokyo" - This track opened with two different keyboards playing the same keyboard arrangement. After a measure there was a sixteenth-note cymbal crash. After the cymbal crash there was a minor lead guitar solo. The lead guitar solo was played using a Japanese guitar scale. Since the title of the song is Tokyo it only seemed fitting to use this type of scale. This was only fitting considering the title of the song is Tokyo. Underneath the minor solo there was a kettle drum fill, then a full tom- tom fill and then ending with a second kettle drum fills. After the minor lead guitar solo the main intro section kicks-in. There is a second minor lead guitar solo over the top of the main intro section. The second minor lead guitar solo was also written using notes from the Japanese lead guitar scale. The second minor lead guitar solo ran over the first opening notes of the musical verse. The crisp sound Hans got from his ride cymbal of the intro and hi-hat of the musical verse completely blew me away!!!!! Connecting the opening musical verse with the opening lyric line there was a small tom-tom fill. For the musical verse there was a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse. Underneath the last lyric line of the musical verse there was a minor lead guitar scale over the top of the rhythm guitar arrangement. Underneath the lyric lines and over the top of the rhythm guitar of the second verse there was a few little lead guitar scales. The choruses consisted of huge hooks. After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo. Scattered throughout every verse and pre-choruses there was little minor lead guitar scales. Musically this song ranks up there with one of the best songs I have reviewed all year long!
5.) "Better Man" - This track opens with a keyboard arrangement. Underneath the keyboard arrangement. Leading into the musical verse there is five to maybe six bass notes. The sound of these bass notes reminded me a lot of the sound Tony Franklin (The Firm and Blue Murder) gets out of his fretless bass. After the bass line notes there was a snare/tom-tom fill connecting the opening keyboard arrangement with the musical verse. The chord arrangement Tino and Andy chose to use had a real heavy sound to it. I don't know if it is the chords they opted to use or the musical phrasing of the guitar arrangement itself. However the way heavy guitar riff along with the way the band arranged the lyrics reminded me of something Roger Waters and David Gilmore wrote though never used for Pink Floyd's 1979 release 'The Wall'. I really cannot tell you why it reminded me of Pink Floyd because the song doesn't have a psychedelic sound to it. The way John carries out certain notes of the lyric lines really shows his vocal power. There was a couple lead guitar licks connecting the pre-chorus with the chorus. There was two different tom-tom fills connecting the first chorus with the second verse. After the second chorus there was a twin lead guitar solo. The lead guitar solo ran underneath the lyric lines of the third chorus.
6.) "All I See" - This track opened with a keyboard effect before going into the main musical intro. Over the top o the opening musical intro there was a lead vocal accent. There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the main body of the musical intro section. It sounded as if some of the notes of the minor solo was double-tracked giving it a twin lead guitar sound. The musical intro consisted of a nice musical hook. There was a musical arrangement change for the musical verse. The musical verse consisted of two separate rhythm guitar arrangements one atop of the other. The lead vocals of the lyrical verses had an amazing sound to them. The vocal lines of the choruses had a huge hook attached to them. There was a minor lead guitar solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse. The backing harmonies of the choruses were amazing!! There was a second minor lead guitar solo connecting the second chorus with the third chorus. After the third chorus there was a major lead guitar solo. Over the top of the solo there was several lead vocal accents. The major lead guitar solo ran over the top of the coda.
7.) "Eyes Of A Child" - This intro opens with a keyboard arrangement over the top of a bass drum kick pattern. When the main intro kicks-in the song takes on a heavy progressive rock feel. The main intro consisted of two separate keyboard arrangements one atop of the other. There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the main intro section. The musical verse opened with the same keyboard arrangement and bass drum kick that opened the musical intro section. A second keyboard riff kicks-in underneath the third lyric line of the first verse. This second keyboard riff is played just underneath the third lyric line. The musical verse kicks in underneath the first lyric line of the second measure of the first verse. John carries out the last note of the last lyric of the first verse. In doing this it allows the listener to get a good feel on just how great of a vocalist he is. There was an arrangement change for the musical chorus. After the second verse there was a breakdown section. This breakdown section lead to the second chorus. After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo. The lead guitar solo ran underneath the third chorus and trough the coda.
8.) "The Runner" - I'm not sure however it sounded like this track was recorded at a Praying Mantis concert.
9.) "Against the World" - This song blew me away and I instantly fee in love with it!
10.) "Fallen Angel" - Musically this track is not only one of the most well-written songs I have heard it a very longtime. However it may be the best well structured songs I have had the pleasure to ever listen too!!!!
11.) "Second Time Around" - This track opened with a minor twin lead guitar solo. As the solo progressed there was several tom-tom patterns scattered throughout the solo. The main musical intro consisted of a double-bass drum pattern. There was an arrangement change for the musical verse. There was several lead guitar notes underneath the last two lyric lines of the musical verse. There was an arrangement change for the musical chorus. After the first chorus the band repeated the minor lead guitar solo that opened the intro. The first pre-chorus for the second chorus consisted of a timing change. As a musician I have to say, this was cool as hell!!!! After the second chorus there was a breakdown section. As a songwriter this breakdown section blew me away. The breakdown section lead to the major lead guitar solo. The coda consisted of only vocals.
Hailing from the UK Praying Mantis's history goes back forty years. The band predated the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Though the band was formed in 1974 the band never really hit their musical stride until they re-united in 1990. Since then the band has gone though several line-up changes yet they have continuously deliver substantial and entertaining melodic and hard rock albums. In October 2013 while performing live the band announced two new members vocalist John Cuijpers and drummer Hans Ins't Zandt. If 'Legacy' is any proof I can guarantee these new members will end up being longtime fixtures within the band. 'Legacy' is by far the best CD the band has released in the past twenty years and I have to give all the credit to the two new members. It sounded as if the new members gave new life to the band. There literally is not a bad song on the CD and in this day in time that is very hard to accomplish!! If you are a fan of Praying Mantis or a fan of great AOR/hard rock songwriting than this is the release for you!