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Pray for Sleep is a Rock/Metal band from Columbus, Ohio. Members Grant DeCrane (vocals), Hayden Kissler (guitar), Ethan Carlson (guitar, vocals) and Reno Houston (drums) came together over their love of music and overall goal of helping others.


 “WE ARE NOT ALONE.” In a nation of young people feeling increasingly isolated and hopeless, this is a powerful message. It’s also the driving force behind Columbus-based hard rock band Pray For Sleep. On debut album Behind Our Eyes, the quartet aims to bolster a generation racked by anxiety, depression, and suicide with a message of solidarity and a cathartic roar.

“Ever since middle school I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression,” says vocalist Grant DeCrane, 22. “I’ve always found a lot of peace in metal music.” His bandmates can relate. Drummer Reno Houston, 20, guitarist Hayden Kissler, 19, and guitarist Ethan Carlson, 19, all spent their teenage years finding solace in heavy music, be it shouting along with bands like Beartooth and Bring Me The Horizon or disappearing into the basement to bash away at their instrument of choice.

Now, with Behind Our Eyes, the members of Pray For Sleep are serving up glorious noise of their own and calling on listeners to “Scream Back.” The album presents a group in full command of its abilities, pummeling eardrums with guttural screams and spine-tingling harmonies alike. Using the sound of 2017’s self-titled EP as a launchpad, these 10 songs venture out in several directions, cohering into multifaceted statement debut. From the compassionate call to arms “Ask Us” to the shapeshifting epic “Dear Death,” Pray For Sleep prove themselves a force to be reckoned with.

Not that anyone would be surprised Pray For Sleep’s debut delivers — not after a rapid rise that saw them graduate from parade floats and high school color runs to the world-renowned Rock On The Range festival in under a year. They’ve since held their own alongside some of the finest rock acts from Columbus and beyond, gained radio support from Columbus hard rock station 99.7 The Blitz, and been featured by both NBC4 and 10TV. “Things definitely moved really fast for us,” DeCrane says. “We were in the right place at the right time and people liked the music.”

Part of the appeal is the group’s unflinchingly raw examination of mental health. From the beginning, Pray For Sleep knew they wanted to be the most positive band in hard rock, but as Houston explains, “We’re not just sunshine and rainbows all the time.” Part of finding solidarity in the fight against depression is being real about what you’re going through. It’s why Pray For Sleep encourage listeners to check up on their friends in “Ask Us,” its chorus building to the mantra, “All I need is to feel seen!” And it’s why at every opportunity the band has spread the word about rejecting stigmas and getting help, including a performance at a student-organized assembly at Grandview Heights High School raising awareness about mental and behavioral health.

In further service of this cause, Pray for Sleep have joined the On Our Sleeves movement by Nationwide Children’s Hospital  #OnOurSleeves campaign to transform children’s mental health. After selling out their first headlining show at The Basement, the band donated all proceeds to #OnOurSleeves. They’ve also submitted their lyrics to the hospital’s mental health experts to make sure their songs are more helpful than harmful. “Some of the songs are kind of heavy subject matter,” Houston says. “We didn’t want to have trigger words. We want to get as real as we possibly can without doing it the wrong way.”

Behind Our Eyes demonstrates the results of that careful consideration. Pray For Sleep’s debut confirms their potential to be a force for good in a world that’s hurting. These 10 tracks are anthems people can rally around, inspiring for both their content and musicality. It’s a remarkable achievement — and for Pray For Sleep, it’s only the beginning.

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