Get the new FREE JFH MP3 compilation -- Vol. 11!
Get the new FREE JFH MP3 compilation -- Vol. 11!

JFH Music Review

The Prayer Chain

Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 10 tracks: 56 minutes, 53 seconds
Street Date: April 11, 1995


The Prayer Chain's third full-length record (including the independently released The Neverland Sessions) changed a lot of things. Their sound went from the high energy songs found on Shawl and The Whirlpool EP to the slow burn, moody atmospheric sound found on this record. I'm sure that producer Steve Hindalong had a lot to do with this, as well as it being the band's vision to break the mold of what they had done on previous records. And break the mold they did indeed. The energy of "Dig Dug" and "Like I Was" off of Shawl are replaced by meandering, slow rockers with Middle Eastern tones and percussion throughout, with the only exception being the second track, "Waterdogs."

Does it work? Absolutely. I remember when this record came out, there were some negative reviews centered around the change in sound. I myself didn't know what to think of it at first, but after a few listens, I knew it was something special. For me, it changed what a Christian rock record could be.

Mercury starts out with "Humb," which is taken from Psalm 136. It's an ambient track that essentially works as a call to worship. "Waterdogs" picks up the pace as the only straight up rocker on the record. That doesn't mean there is a lack of guitars on the record, however. On the contrary, there is some of the best guitar work you will ever hear on Mercury -- understated and not showy, but ever present. The drums and bass are also some of the best put on record. Hindalong's production is spot-on, with clear mixing by Chris Colbert, Gene Eugene and Mark Rodriguez make this an easy listen.

Lyrically, it's hard to know what's going on here. "Creol" appears to be about death, with the lines "come to smell your breath/wiped over" and later "slow end/slow grave." "Shiver" is clearly about salvation, "long ago/sin pumped through my veins/long ago/the blood washed it away." "Sky High" seems to be about the loss of innocence and how time changes things with the line "Here comes the rust." Space seems to be a metaphor about the distance from God and/or people.

In the end, this is a great record -- not just a great Christian record, but one that can hold its own against any mainstream record out there. Me giving it five stars may appear to be to generous as there are not many five star albums out there, but it's just that good. It was largely passed over because it doesn't fit neatly into the CCM template, which is a shame. Do yourself a favor and take a listen to The Prayer Chain's Mercury.

JFH Reader Review: Review date: 4/26/20, written by Terry Sexton for

(JFH Sponsor Spot)

Check out the new EP from Darby Hughes!


. Record Label: Rode Dog Records
. Album length: 10 tracks: 56 minutes, 53 seconds
. Street Date: April 11, 1995
. Buy It:

  1. Humb (5:42)
  2. Waterdogs (3:22)
  3. Grilliade (5:20)
  4. Creole (6:25)
  5. Sky High (9:00)
  6. Mercury (4:32)
  7. Shiver (5:22)
  8. Manta Rae (3:18)
  9. Bendy Line (5:13)
  10. Sun Stoned (8:39)


Leave a Comment



go to main Album review page
go to Album review archive


(JFH Sponsor Spot)



Check out the new EP from Darby Hughes!

Search JFH

This Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Justin McRoberts War Stories - Single (independent)

This Friday, September 30, 2022
Avalon Worship Avalon Worship (Expanded Edition) [Red Street]
Cody Carnes God is Good! [Capitol CMG]
The Chitans Shoulder to Shoulder [Horizon]
Disciple Back Again (2003) CD Re-Release [Girder]
Disciple By God (2001) CD Re-Release [Girder]
Disciple This Might Sting A Little CD Re-Release [Girder]
Disciple What Was I Thinking (1995) CD Re-Release [Girder]
JJ Hairston Believe Again [Tribl/JamesTown]
Evvie McKinney Love, Evvie McKinney [Capitol CMG]
Stephen McWhirter If Everything Falls - EP [Lula Street]
Outbreakband JESUS [Integrity]
SEU Worship Heart Cry [Provident]
Shaylee Simeone Streams of Worship EP [Lula Street]
Social Club Misfits Everybody Loves a Comeback Story [Capitol CMG]
WHATUPRG New Hollywood [Reach]
Zach Williams A Hundred Highways [Provident]
Ian Yates Between The Joy And The Sorrow: Part 2 [7Core Music]

AdoracioŽn Vin~a Quiero Cantar - Single [Integrity]
Meredith Andrews Carry The World - Single [Word Worship]
HolyName Creed (ft. Eric Gregson of xDeathstarx) - Single [Facedown]
Ellie Holcomb Sounding Joy - Single [Capitol CMG]
InSalvation Hart vol lof - Single [Integrity]
Kutless Words of Fire - Single [BEC]
Moriah Trust - Single [Cathedral Company]
REVERE Cantarei (Meu Salvador) / Risen Savior (Sing My Soul) [feat. Dwan Hill and Ana Luiza Ferreira Tristao] - Single [Integrity]
Kierra Sheard Miracles (ft. Pastor Mike Jr.) - Single [Karew / RCA]
Justin Warren All Things Well - Single [Radiate]
Emilie Weiss Maybe - Single [BEC]
Brian Courtney Wilson I Will See - Single [Motown Gospel]

Next Friday, October 7, 2022
Israel & New Breed Worship Anywhere [District 11]
John Marc Kohl Still [The Worship Initiative]
Tasha Cobbs Leonard HYMNS [Motown Gospel]
Zauntee Life I Chose - EP [BEC]

David Dunn Hurt Is - Single [BEC]
TWICE + KingsPorch Yo Declaro a Christo (I Speak Jesus - Spanish) - Single [BEC]
Vineyard Worship Look To Him (I See The Light) - Single [Vineyard]
For all release dates, click here!

Listen to the New Album By Before Flags!

Listen to the new album by Stephanie Haavik

Check out depositphotos for royalty free images