Published on June 16th, 2018 | by Justin G.
Praying Mantis: Gravity (Frontiers)
Long-running British melodic rockers (and early NWOBHM veterans) Praying Mantis have a new album out, titled Gravity. The lineup behind the excellent 2015 album Legacy is (mostly) intact here, with new drummer Hans in’t Zandt stepping in. The album even boasts another iconic Rodney Matthews cover. All are good signs going into this much-anticipated album.
For the better part of 40 years now, Praying Mantis have delivered very strong melodic hard rock albums, and Gravity is no exception. It definitely fits that Praying Mantis style, with the dynamic lead guitars, effective melodies and lyrics that go deeper than the typical melodic rock staple themes. Singer John Cuijpers and Guitarist Andy Burgess seem to be gelling well with the founding Troy Brothers.
Gravity doesn’t grab you immediately the way Legacy and Sanctuary did, but give it a couple spins and the songs do catch hold. The melodies are very memorable, and Cuijpers’ vocal performance shines. The middle of the album has the strongest, more epic rock songs – “Gravity,” “Ghosts of the Past” and “Destiny in Motion” (gorgeous solo on that one) – but there are highlights both early (the sing-along “Mantis Anthem”) and late (the haunting “Shadow of Love”).
It doesn’t make quite the same impact that the previous two Praying Mantis albums did, but Gravity is a more than worthy addition to the band’s storied legacy. It’s also one of the better melodic rock albums 2018 has to offer. Longtime fans will not be disappointed, and newcomers who like their melodic rock on the more epic side – think Ten, Rainbow, Axel Rudi Pell and Magnum – will find Gravity a great introduction to the band.
Summary: Another satisfying Praying Mantis album