Although the frozen north seems to be a beacon for hard rock and metal, not every band that emerges from the ice is listenable, much less enjoyable. The second studio album for Blinded Colony (and the first featuring John Schuster on vocals) is thankfully, one of the good ones. With Bedtime Prayers, Blinded Colony embraces nearly every metal cliché and successfully turns each one on its ear to produce a unique sounding album while avoiding the sophomore slump. The self-produced effort is one of the rare exceptions in which a band benefits from a completely internal approach. In most cases, when a band chooses to produce their own album, it’s either due to lack of funds or an abundance of ego. The nine tracks on Bedtime Prayers are short, sweet and leave the listener wanting more, sounding both fresh and polished. Without charging into the realm of musical masturbation, the songs are carefully orchestrated, often containing several movements throughout. New addition Schuster’s vocals compliment the chugging guitars and use (as opposed to abuse) of synthesizers with a nice mix of melody, rasp and well-placed screams for emphasis. Lyrically, the bulk of the material on Bedtime Prayers deals with a serious contemplation of faith—or a lack of. Recurring themes of man vs. religion vs. himself prevail. Whereas many bands of the genre beat the topic to death with trite, whining treatises, Blinded Colony offers some profound observations.