LOSTPRAY – PRIESTIANITY
self released, 2018/2020 (re-release)
I think it’s about time we’ve had another metal review. I haven’t published a full review of a metal album since Black Friday after all. Anyway, for the first metal review of 2020, we’re going to pull out something nice and underground for you. Today we’re looking at the latest from Lostpray, an EP called Priestianity, originally released in 2018, but re-released to digital platforms just last week after some distribution troubles.
Lostpray are a Ukrainian band with vocalist and guitarist Burak Gundogdu coming originally from Istanbul. The group plays a form of heavy metal that is unique yet accessible and progressive without being pretentious. Their riffs are clearly inspired by thrash, but they are shooting for a more polished, modern sound. And they only come close to thrash’s blistering speed on one of the four tracks on this EP. Lostpray also take a progressive approach to their songwriting by giving their songs varying movements rather than packing in moments of dense solos.
Another thing they bring from a more progressive side is long-ish songs. This EP only has four tracks, but the total runtime is around 25 minutes because each song is over six minutes long. But the impressive thing is that none of these songs feel like they’re six minutes long. They all end at just the right time. A couple even feel like they could go a little longer without overstaying their welcome. One more thing I want to mention that gives Lostpray that extra little bit of uniqueness is the Turkish influence that Gundogdu works into his vocal melodies. But this isn’t a heavy-handed gimmick like other bands that claim an Arabic or Middle Eastern influence. These are tasteful little hints that keep the vocals from sounding like generic alternative metal.
Lyrically, things are a little cryptic as metal bands tend to be at times. But I can pick up on a couple themes. Specifically they seem to be criticizing conformity and beliefs that unite people through fear and hate. They never name anything specifically, but it’s not hard to guess what they’re implying considering the title of the EP and its artwork. Sonically, the EP is pretty impressive considering it’s self-released. The electric guitar tones in particular are satisfyingly heavy. I do wish the drums and bass had a little more punch at times, but they still sound better than some major releases I’ve heard.
Overall, I think that Priestianity is a very promising taste of what Lostpray are capable of. They are clearly a talented band with an ability to combine their interests and influences into a sound that’s unique but could potentially have massive appeal. But that mainstream tendency is also a slight weakness. Personally, I would have liked certain parts to be a little more aggressive. Also, on a longer release, I would want a bit more variety, but what Lostpray have put together here works very well in this smaller, 25 minute package.
*this review was written in association with Metalhead Community*