Album Reviews

Praying Mantis – Gravity Review

Released by: Frontiers Records

Release Date: May 11th, 2018

Genre: NWOBHM

Links: http://www.prayingmantis.rocks/

 

Line Up:

John Cuijpers – Lead Vocals
Tino Troy – Guitars & Vocals
Chris Troy – Bass & Vocals
Andy Burgess – Guitars + Vocals
Hans in ‘t Zandt – Drums

 

Tracklist:

01 Keep It Alive
02 Mantis Anthem
03 Time Can Heal
04 39 Years
05 Gravity
06 Ghosts Of The Past
07 Destiny In Motion
08 The Last Summer
09 Foreign Affair
10 Shadow Of Love
11 Final Destination

 

For every one NWOBHM band that has gained worldwide success, there are a ton that is barely a blip on the Heavy Metal radar. One band that has fallen somewhere in between is the great band Praying Mantis. I discovered them some years ago around the same time I was discovering other “new bands to me” via the Internet. I loved how they were hard-edged yet had a strong melodic side to them, like a nice mixture of fellow NWOBHM stalwarts Iron Maiden and Def Leppard. As luck would have it things simply didn’t pan out for them the way they should have based on how good they were. Since their triumphant return to the scene thanks to Frontiers Records, they’ve kept a great trajectory of re-establishing themselves as a musical powerhouse.

Their latest, Gravity, the third release for Frontiers and 2nd with current vocalist John Cuijpers, isn’t quite as good as Legacy but is still a pretty amazing album, and just barely misses the mark in the running with the previous release. It’s the perfect balance between hard rock shredding and melodic majesty. Cuijpers has a bit of a Graham Bonnett feel to his vocals, yet has more of a cleaner voice than the famous Bonnett rasp. Musically the band is tight as ever with the guitar work of Tino Troy and Andy Burgess complimenting the voice and songs perfectly, especially on tracks like “Gravity,” “Keep It Alive,” and “Shadow of Love.”

Praying Mantis are such a great band and deserve so much more recognition than they get. Hopefully, Gravity will continue to push the band into the spotlight and keep them on the path to greater success. Their sound should be able to crack the U.S. market with the melodic sound making them totally accessible while still maintaining their hard rock credibility. Such an amazing band with a rich history, it is such a shame they can’t seem to make that break. There’s still hope as long as they keep releasing material as great as this.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: 8/10

 

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