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Release date May 11, 2018 (Frontiers Records)

45 years into their career, Chris and Tino Troy are back with Praying Mantis’ eleventh studio album. The band’s releases over the last four decades have never reached the quality of their brilliant 1981 debut LP Time Tells No Lies, and their new album Gravity continues that slump.

The initial track, “Keep it Alive” starts this outing on a decent footing, being a quick paced hard rocker with lots of PM’s trademark guitar harmonies and the best backing vocals in the business. But from there, things deteriorate quickly. The following two tracks (“Mantis Anthem” and “Time Can Heal”) are god awful, and although most of the remainder of this effort are better than those two songs, the album simply never recovers.

To be fair to the band, this album is competently performed and produced. The Troy brothers are consummate professionals and new lead vocalist John Cuijpers has a decent set of pipes (in a smooth, inoffensive, crooner sort of way). But the band have left far behind their hard rocking past. Gravity is replete with bland, radio-friendly, adult oriented soft rock. It has about as much edge as a blob of dough. Regular visitors to this site are unlikely to find much of interest within it….I know I didn’t.


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