Exhausted Prayer
The Worst of All Possible Worlds

The debut release from LA’s Exhausted Prayer was an ambitious, promising but convoluted affair of cross genre metal that melded black, ambient and progressive metal. And now the follow up is here and it looks like the band has mostly fulfilled the promise of Looks Down In the Gathering Shadow  ― with improved song writing and more balance and cohesion between black metal, progressive elements and Opethian textures. Unfortunately, they somehow still tantalize with brilliance and frustrate with inconsistency within minutes of each other.

The maddening inconsistency is rife from the get go, as The Worst of All Possible Worlds starts off pretty unimpressively with a short atmospheric intro (“Darkness There and Nothing More”) and the warbling opening number “I Long For the Peace of A Cemetery”, which initially doesn’t show a lot to show improvement at all, even with its heavy, black metal, Opeth-tone. However, “My Time of Falling” starts the album real with a moody acoustic intro and some slow discordant chords, before controlled discordant tremolo picking raises the song into a more intense realm and you can feel the band on the cusp on something special as the song closes. However, interlude “Movement #2” lulls you before “Moment of Clarity” gets to shatter all the calm with bristling and snarling black/death metal.

However, it’s “Silenced” where Exhausted Prayer shows they have the ability to deliver something truly impressive, with frosty melodic chord progressions over a variety of rhythmic and percussive passages.  It’s pretty sublime, and the next track “Can I Ask A Question” continues the high quality with a short brittle burst of blackened fury and arguably signals the band is ready to move up the USBM ladder. But dangit, the album ends on a couple of tracks on “The Red Sea” and “The Brightest Light You’ll Ever Know Is Of A Dour Hue” that just sum up the band’s inconsistency. ‘The Red Sea” has some terrible clean vocals amid some experimental movements and the wordy 8+ minute finale is just confounding in its ability to dazzle with Fleurety-ish introspective textures and acoustics, confound with seemingly aimless death metal riffage and overly noodly proggy tangents.

But there’s enough promise here for more adventurous and open mined black metal fans to check out this USBM-act that just needs a little more focus before they make waves. Everything else is already there.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 6th, 2011


  1. Commented by: Darby Schenker

    Maranatha! He is coming back!

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