I'm coming out of semi-hibernation to help spread the word about a West Coast tour that I would see every night had I the time, financial means and ability not to come off as creepy for treating underground metal bands like the Grateful Dead. Exhausted Prayer share provenance (Los Angeles) and a drummer (Mike Caffell) with Dreaming Dead, whose debut Within One (reviewed here) was my favorite record of 2009. They're also two of the more unassumingly thrilling live bands around. No synchronized headbanging or live goat sacrifices, just a sense that you're watching/hearing something special unfold before your eyes/ears.
In Exhausted Prayer's case, it's how they pretzelize familiar black metal tropes into unfamiliar shapes -- sometimes twisty and muscular, sometimes hazy and dissolute. These dudes have finally finished their first album in five years, Worst of All Possible Worlds (previewed here), so chances are they'll be debuting plenty of new stuff.
You also need to see Dreaming Dead's Elizabeth Schall. She's a terrific guitarist with an elegant approach to riffcraft and fluidly melodic soloing style (I often hear her described as Chuck Schuldiner incarnate). And while her femaleness doesn't really have anything to do with her talent, it's tough to ignore that such rarefied death metal chops are coming from a kind of person that isn't normally in a death metal band. The rest of the band plays regally. Dreaming Dead are nearly done with their second album Midnightmares. They just released the video to the new track "Overlord," which they'll undoubtedly be unleashing live.
Go see these bands on tour, and tell them I sent you. They'll probably scratch their heads quizzically and ask if you want to buy a t-shirt.
EXHAUSTED PRAYER / DREAMING DEAD "FALL INTO RUIN" TOUR:
10/21 - The Red Hat - Concord, CA
10/22 - Monstros Pizza - Chico, CA
10/23 - Plan B - Portland, OR
10/24 - Cretin Hop - Spokane, WA
10/25 - Galway Arms - Seattle, WA
10/26 - Le Voyeur - Olympia, WA
10/27 - The Gup - Eugene, OR
10/28 - Burnt Ramen - Richmond, CA
10/29 - On the Y - Sacramento, CA
10/30 - Three Clubs - Los Angeles, CA