This review is for the 2012 re-master on Rock Candy.
In 1980 I saw Mantis support Triumph and I was immediately hooked with their unique blend of melody and metal, with unusual time changes and fluid guitar solos from the gifted Tino Troy. After following their career for roughly 30 years this album is one of a few records (!) which manages to occupy a legendary status in my collection, a classic sleeve and a great rock album. The album has been available on CD in Japan and on the High Voltage label from Australia I think. It would sit nicely next to your classic Magnum album "On a storytellers night" and I rate it highly in terms of the AOR elements in the music.
There are five tracks in particular which have always been my favourites, namely Cheated,Running for Tomorrow, Lovers to the Grave, Beads of Ebony and Children of the Earth.The classic B-side Thirty Pieces Of Silver should have been on the original album, that's brilliant too. I remember begging the DJ at Wigan Pier to play Beads of Ebony which was the B-side of All day and all of the night the Kinks cover.This track has an interesting lyric about the culling of seals. The awesome Children of the Earth starts with a guitar solo and finishes with another beauty and typical Mantis ending (think Rush endings!).
Mantis have never bettered this album with the vocal melodies never matching those here and they should be proud of these songs. The re-master is beefy and the booklet is full of the history of the band etc, this version adds the single "Praying Mantis" and B-side "High Roller" which to my knowledge have been unavailable on CD before.Melodic magic buy now!