Praying Mantis are an English rock band. Although a part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal scene, they pursued a musical direction more melodic and AOR sounding than their contemporaries.
Their formation considerably pre-dated the NWOBHM movement. They were formed in 1974 by the Troy brothers, Tino and Chris, both college students. Like several NWOBHM bands they made their first available recording at Neal Kay’s Soundhouse recording studio, which was released as the Soundhouse Tapes EP in 1979.
1980 saw their profile considerably raised with support slots for Iron Maiden and Ronnie Montrose’s Gamma. The attention won them a recording contract with Arista Records and they released their best-known work Time Tells No Lies in 1981. Management and line-up instability undermined their success and Arista dropped them. The following year they signed for Jet Records, but two subsequent singles flopped and the band folded.
They had recorded a version of the Russ Ballard penned track “I Surrender”, but ran into conflict with Rainbow, who went on to release their version, and had a Top 10 worldwide hit. Instead, Praying Mantis recorded another single, “Cheated”. It reached No. 69 in the UK Singles Chart in January 1981.
The band maintained a strong fan base in Japan, and when the Troys temporarily reformed Praying Mantis for a NWOBHM nostalgia tour in 1990, they were encouraged by the response to resurrect the band full-time.
Their live work was released as Live at Last, and a follow-up studio album Predator in Disguise was released the following year, and the band soldiered on into the new century. A compilation album, The Best of Praying Mantis, was released in 2004. Following further line-up changes, a new album, Sanctuary, was released in the spring of 2009 and has gained worldwide media acclaim.
In 2013 the band announced they are to release a new single in October 2013. The single is to officially introduce new members, [John Cuijpers] (vocals) and [Hans in’t Zandt] (drums) to the bands fanbase after playing Colchester, Ipswich (with support from MGR Records band Kaine) and Cambridge Rock Festival with the brand new line up.
Official website www.praying-mantis.com