Lethal Prayer practised the art of black metal with heavy ferocity. The group was formed in Pittsburgh in 1986 and issued several demos, including The Nail, Thee Unholy Sacraments and Evil Filth. The group has undergone many line-up changes until coming unglued in 1996 following Belial’s incarceration. Belial moved to Tampa in 2005 and began working with Mike Browning of Nocturnus infamy.
STRYCHNINE/LETHAL PRAYER - SPLIT 10" - APPARITION
It's been a while since I received a vinyl 10" and so I was curious to investigate more. Both US bands have other releases, including full lengths, in the past which I had not heard. In fact as far as I recall, the bands' names have never crossed my path. Regardless, Strychnine is a pleasant surprise. With covers featuring a tank from Marduk and Enthroned recently I was expecting a derivative black metal band. Instead New Jersey's Strychnine is the bridge that connects Exciter and Celtic Frost. It's true metal that owes much to the two mentioned bands and not too dissimilar to what NY underground bands like Blessed Death or bands on Rage Records were churning out. Funnily enough this side of the LP is called Souls to The Slaughter - hello At The Gates?!? Lethal Prayer should have been a power metal entity. Instead we are confronted with a long and involved noisy metal track with deliberately distorted and lo-fi sound. It's quite a mess, but has its own charm. In brief, this split 10" is as underground as it gets in 2001 and those with a record player and craving the sounds of the years past should send $10 Cdn or equivalent to Apparition Entertainment, P.O. Box 173, Keyport, New Jersey 07735 USA. - Ali "The Metallian"