England's Praying Mantis was one of the more melodic bands to emerge from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal scene.
They combined a Thin Lizzy-style twin guitar approach with Def Leppard-like vocal harmonies, resulting in a sound not unlike later-day Rainbow. Originally named Junction, the band was formed in the late '70s by brothers Tino (vocals/guitar) and Chris Troy (bass/vocals), later adding Steve Carroll (guitar/vocals) and Dave Potts (drums). This lineup released a three-track demo EP, Captured City, in 1980, the title track of which also appeared in the highly influential Metal for Muthas compilation. The band were soon signed to BMG Europe, and proceeded to record their debut album, Time Tells No Lies, released in 1981. It achieved modest success (by NWOBHM standards), and first single "Cheated" charted respectfully, earning Praying Mantis a slot on the prestigious Reading Festival. Regrettably, the band became embroiled in business and legal disputes with their management soon after, resulting in a year-long hiatus from recording or touring, and completely stalling their career. After being dropped by BMG, Praying Mantis disbanded. Then, in a Spinal Tap-ish twist of fate, the band found themselves enjoying a renaissance in Japan, prompting a reformation (with ex-Iron Maiden singer Paul DiAnno) and tour in 1990, which yielded the Live at Last LP. Praying Mantis has continued to record throughout the '90s with a number of different vocalists, releasing Predator in Disguise (1991), A Cry for a New World (1994), and To the Power of Ten (1995). None of these have charted or come close to recapturing the glory of their debut, but the band continues to tour the U.K. Fall 2000 saw the release of Nowhere to Hide. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi