NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) legends PRAYING MANTIS have parted ways with singer Mike Freeland and drummer Gary Mackenzie.
In a statement, Freeland says: "It is with great sadness that I have to tell you all that I am no longer a member of PRAYING MANTIS. Please know that this was not my decision.
"On a more positive note, I've had the most incredible seven years; I have been to some truly amazing places and met some fantastic people — you guys. I can't thank you all enough for your support and for the great times. Keep the faith!"
Adds Mackenzie in his own statement: "Following on from Mike Freeland's post, which some of you may have seen, I am very sad to report that I am also on the list of ex-PRAYING MANTIS members. This was not of my choosing.
"I will miss many aspects of being in the band, but one of the things I'm most sad about is the fact that I won't get to say goodbye in person to the many, many terrific fans I've met around the world — so many of you have shown such amazing support, enthusiasm, commitment and affection for the band and for me, and I am truly grateful to have met and played for you all. Stay lucky, and keep the faith."
PRAYING MANTIS is scheduled to perform at Ipswich Railway on August 3 and at the Cambridge Rock Festival on August 4.
February 2011 saw PRAYING MANTIS release a special limited-edition EP to celebrate 30 years since the release of their critically acclaimed album "Time Tells No Lies". Entitled "Metalmorphosis", the effort included five songs, some of which were from the original album re-recorded by the most recent MANTIS lineup.
PRAYING MANTIS' latest album, "Sanctuary", was released in Europe in June 2009 via Frontiers Records (July 2009 in the U.S.). The CD was recorded in Atlanta, Georgia under the direction of producer/engineer Andy Reilly (ASIA, THE CULT, BRUCE DICKINSON, FM).