Praying Mantis ‘Time Tells No Lies’
by Jody Haskins for The Laguna Spectator December 7, 2015
It doesn’t get much better than Praying Mantis when it comes to melodic hard rock from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. While some bands were catapulted to mega stardom such as Def Leppard and Iron Maiden, others like Praying Mantis were discarded and left for dead along the highway of broken dreams.
Just another rock and roll casualty. All it takes is the wrong management and/or the wrong label to kill a promising band’s career. Praying Mantis is one of those NWOBHM bands that was left for dead but refuses to quit and battles on to this day. There have been countless lineup changes since 1981, but Praying Mantis is still touring and they just released a new album in 2015. They are what Ace Frehley would call ‘rock soldiers’. Now let’s take a look at and a listen to this NWOBHM classic from Praying Mantis entitled ‘Time Tells No Lies’. This is considered the ‘classic’ line up of Praying Mantis with brothers Chris and Tino Troy, David Potts and Steve Carroll.
This song is a real treat. For a NWOBHM band, Praying Mantis is extremely melodic while still retaining that hard rockin’ metal edge. Cheated is an instant classic of the NWOBHM and deserves a hallowed place on any top 10 list of great NWOBHM singles.
All Day & All of the Night
Praying Mantis performs a blistering rendition of this Kink’s classic. They stay very true to the original while adding just the right amount of sleaze to make it a track worth listening to again and again.
Running For Tomorrow
This is more like it, right back into some slow moody atmospheric heavy metal with some of the best lyrics on the whole album. This is a very AOR sounding track that was obviously intended to be a radio hit. It wasn’t but it should have been.
Rich City Kids
This song begin with gritty guitar riffs and an eighties sounding rhythm section. There is a very nice guitar solo on this track.
Lovers To The Grave
Here we have the softer side of Praying Mantis. A love song with very sweet and tender lyrics. You can hear the smooth bass lines in the mix on this track for the first time. Praying Mantis harmonize beautifully on this track. The production is the real star of this song. The chorus is just amazing and chill bump inducing at the same time.
Panic In The Streets
Once again we have some seriously beautiful melodic harmonies as good as anything Journey or Asia ever thought about recording. The song is pure melodic NWOBHM. If you are a fan of Asia you will love this song.
Beads of Ebony
The NWOBHM gets a social conscience. You see the beads of ebony are the eyes of the baby seals before they are beaten to death on the beaches. This is a good song with power and glory.
Flirting With Suicide
A good natured rocker with a funny analogy. The main character in this song is a man who is flirting with suicide. The Praying Mantis is flirting with suicide every time he mates. Eventually he will slip and the female Praying Mantis will eat his head and then finish having sex with his headless corpse. Once she has completed the sex act, she will turn her attention to eating the remainder of his headless corpse. Could the boys in Praying Mantis be drawing a similar comparison to a human male pursuing the human female?
Children of The Earth
Here is a theme that never gets old in heavy metal regardless of the genre. The worship of Mother Earth and the evil men do to destroy her. Whether she is destroyed by nuclear war or pollution either way it is the fault of evil men. I am not going to say this is a bad song because there really isn’t a bad song on this album.
Thirty Pieces of Silver
A fast paced melodic power rocker about the Judas in power today who divide and destroy the people with no compassion or concern. This song’s lyrics seem incomplete or rushed compared to the other songs on this album. That is probably why it didn’t make the final album cut and ended up as a B side instead. Would have liked to hear what they could have accomplished lyrically with this concept if they had the time to really finish it.