Praying Mantis

A Cry for the New World

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AllMusic Review by

It's a wonder this band never made it big. And then again, maybe not. Praying Mantis sounds like a progressive metal band going AOR in the '80s. Unfortunately for them, the album was released in 1993, when both progressive and '80s AOR were out of fashion. Remember Bryan Adams in those days ? Add a metal edge to that and you'll get an idea of what this album sounds like. It also occasionally recalls Gary Moore or Journey. Several songs (including the title track) could have been big hits-had they been released in the previous decade by a major label. And yet... Praying Mantis has many things going against them. While they are quite capable of writing catchy refrains, the rest of their songs are often bland and unremarkable. (On "Open Your Heart," the problem is reversed, with strong verses and a weak chorus). Add to this the metal and progressive aspects, which were never popular enough to make big hits, and the band's obscurity starts making more sense. Another drawback for commercial success: instead of singing love songs (as all AOR heroes have always done), they decided to sing about wars, dreams, keeping control of your life and other such matters. The most interesting tracks: "Letting Go," "Fight to Be Free" and "Dream On." Songs with the highest hit potential: "A Cry for the New World" and "Letting Go." Most progressive sounding material: "Dream On" (don't expect an Aerosmith cover, this is a totally different song, with its own merits) and "Journeyman"-parts of "One Chance" sound (if you listen carefully) like Shadow Gallery. Metal tones can be heard throughout the album, on practically all the tracks, although it never really stands out. Don't get me wrong, this is a good album. All tracks have some great moments in them, but the whole goes in too many directions, making it hard to consider this a masterpiece -- which it definitely could have been. The potential is there.

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