Praying Mantis - Gravity

Praying Mantis - Gravity

(CD, Frontiers Records, 2018)

It’s funny occasionally how little it takes to kind of lose all respect for a highly ranked band. And PRAYING MANTIS have impressed every time, but that show at ‘Headbangers Open Air’ some years ago did that for me when they had to cut their set extremely short due to a computer failing, hence no backtrack, no keyboards and certainly no show. It just felt stupid that something as pure Rock as PRAYING MANTIS are should fail so miserable on modern techniques. They made up for it at ‘Keep It True’ though, so the confidence in the band is restored. And with that, I happily dug into “Gravity”.

Up-tempo and raw “Keep It Alive” opens the album in a good way. I’m kind of surprised by the rough sound and, for PRAYING MANTIS, quite harsh melody. But it’s a good one and should work perfectly live. “Mantis Anthem” really gives me mixed emotions; don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a very good song but it could easily be one of those that mess up the live-set. But after the intro when the song starts for real, it sounds great. The melody is fantastic and John Cuijpers vocal performance stands out. Then again, I’m not sure I approve of the massive chorus-line. All the choirs and the gospel-y feel don’t really sound appeal to me.

“Time Can Heal” is one favourite from the “Gravity” record together with the title track. Both have sticky chorus-lines but are very different as tracks; the first is more up-tempo while the “Gravity” is mellow and melodic. And I like it that two songs as different as these, are the ones to stick and just grow spin after spin. It shows a wide quality range in the song-writing and musical performance. Also, suggestive “Ghosts Of The Past” quickly became one of the top songs of the album. The tough tone in John’s voice, when he pushes himself to the high notes, sure builds up the dynamics and it sounds good. I’m also a great fan of dark epic songs and this one sure is.

PRAYING MANTIS will have kudos for the dynamics in and between the songs on “Gravity”; just listen to soulful “Foreign Affair” and compare it to the quite bouncy “Final Destination”. It all still flows very smooth and sticks together as one entity.

“Gravity” is indeed a good record, well written and well played. Still, I prefer “Legacy” if comparing the two latest releases from PRAYING MANTIS.





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


John Cuijpers - Lead Vocals
Tino Troy - Guitar, Vocals
Andy Burgess - Guitar, Vocals
Chris Troy - Bass, Vocals
Hans In't Zandt - Drums