Earthprayer: Nine Days

Big voice, big guitars: what’s not to like?

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When you have two major weapons in your arsenal you’d be a damn fool not to use them right from the get go, which is exactly what Earthprayer do within seconds of debut Nine Days kicking off.

With a groovy, driving riff Civil War nails you to the spot, while vocalist Heidi Jo Hines unleashes a voice that’s both spine-tinglingly powerful and sublimely soulful.

With Hines’s steel-and-velvet vocals harnessed to guitarist Ian Montlake’s equally deft and skilful songwriting, this economical debut hits the spot over and over with a welter of riffs and memorable choruses.

From the gently acoustic and lilting Breakdown to strident rockers such as Ain’t Nothing and the rambunctious boogie of closer I Can See The Second Sun, Earthprayer mine that classic blues-rock seam for all its worth and rarely put a foot wrong. Roll on number two.

Essi Berelian

Whether it’s magazines, books or online, Essi has been writing about rock ’n’ metal for around thirty years. He has been reviews editor for Classic Rock and Metal Hammer, rock reviews editor for lads mag Front and worked for Kerrang!. He has also written the Rough Guide to Heavy Metal and contributed to the Rough Guide to Rock and Rough Guide Book of Playlists, and the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (13th edition). Most fun interview? Tenacious D – Jack Black and Kyle Gass – for The Pick of Destiny movie book. An avid record/CD/tape collector, he’s amassed more music than he could ever possibly listen to, which annoys his wife no end.