Praying Mantis – Wales Road

Praying Mantis, the 11th studio offering from veteran rockers Wales Road, has just been unleashed for public consumption. The hard rock power trio (consisting of multi-talented frontman/guitarist/vocalist Tom Wales, bassist Steve Rousseau and drummer Tommy Harrington) offers up ten new tracks infusing a melodic mix of hard rock, blues, pop and acoustic styles. Lyrically inspired by the writings of pastor A.W. Tozer, Praying Mantis attacks the listener like a double-edged sword; one side being encouragement for Christians, the other being no-holds barred evangelism.
The disc opens with the lead single “Cure, Cure, Cure.” This nugget of Christian hard rock/metal drives the Gospel message home hard: “Life is short, death is sure, sin the cause, Christ the cure.” Full of wailing guitar solos (courtesy of WR alum Jaimie Cole), thumpin’ bass grooves and pounding percussion, the track opens the disc with a scream. Fans of hard rockin’ band’s such as Bride are sure to dig this one. The next track, “Father of Lies”, is a Goth-influenced punk tune (think Evanescence meets MXPX) that serves as a counterpoint to secular bands who promote the devil and satanic imagery as ‘cool’. Mr. Wales plunders his expansive musical vault for the next tune, “Purple Heart, Silver Cross.” The Wales’ classic is re-tooled as an all-out hard rock song, with a slight injection of the blues. “Not Just a Song” opens with some superb drumming, and leads into a lighter, more modern rock sound. The lyrics clearly point out that Jesus has to come first in our lives. The raw acoustic sounds of “Save Me From Myself” close out the first half of the disc. This emotion drenched piece of audio poetry convicts and makes its message clear – we are all sinners saved by grace, and can have assurance knowing that the Lord will never leave us or forsake us if we have surrendered our hearts to Him.
Opening the second half of the disc is the energetic rock sounds of “You.” Another gem plundered from the vaults, this re-worked version has a clear 70’s hard rock sound and features some wailing dual lead guitar. The praise-filled rocker “Devoted” continues the rock format and crunches along nicely. The disc changes pace with the tongue-in-cheek “(She Is) All I Can’t Have.” This humorous, retro-sounding track is lyrically inspired by the impending struggles of a lost relationship. The song fits well into the diverse musical landscape of the disc, a concept not foreign to Wales Road CD’s. Praying Mantis closes with two of its most beautiful and moving tracks. “Lead Me On”, a follow-up to the aforementioned track, is a goosebump-inducing, light pop rock prayer to the Lord. Featured on the track are some amazing background vocals (courtesy of Kimberly Muniz) and absolutely moving keyboard arrangements from Geoff Clough. The peaceful acoustic sounds of “The Anxious Bench” close out the disc. Lyrically inspired by evangelist Charles Finney, who invented what we now call ‘The Altar Call’, assures the listener that they can turn to Jesus for comfort and peace. The track features some great multi-layered guitar, along with a blues-flavored guitar solo.
Leaving no confusion of who or what they’re singing about, the band accomplishes their purpose to evangelize and edify on Praying Mantis. While many artists in the CCM scene today fail to mention their Savior by name, Tom Wales and company more than make up for this shortcoming by glorifying God and praising Jesus throughout. Praying Mantis is sure to please all that lend it their ears. For ordering info, please visit
reviewed by Rick Campbell, host of The Christian Music Corner


Enjoy this website? Please spread the word :)