Exhausted Prayer Looks Down in the Gathering Shadow

One of America’s most exciting black metal entries, Los Angeles’ Exhausted Prayer boldly fold prog/tech stylings into their bubbling brew of Emperor meets Darkthrone. Opener "Now Grief” at once mixes the progressive style of Rush and the off-kilter jazz/grind of Spaceboy, though it also has the gravitational pull of Mindrot’s atmospherics. "Death of Logic” is a cross between Legion-era Deicide and Spaceboy, and its complement, the Fucking Champs-influenced "Logic of Death,” has major At the Gates leanings. "The Noble Lie” is attracted to newer Cryptopsy, while "Sobriety Anxiety” hides a James Murphy-esque solo from vocalist Swansong, who, along with bassist Blake and guitarist Heist, heads a three-pronged vocal assault (blackened gargle, guttural gurgle and clean vocals). Their secret weapon, drummer Mike is versatile enough to drive blast beats into the floor, then immediately switch to a slow acoustic passage, then swing back into the black. Looks Down in the Gathering Shadow has all the markings of the year’s best albums and Mike’s technique will surely win him cover photos for drum magazines in the near future. (Dwell)