Music » Critics' Picks

Scream the Prayer Tour III

2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 18. The Firebird, 2706 Olive Street.

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As its title suggests, this mammoth package tour features ten of today's loudest Christian bands. This ain't the wimpy "praise music" you might remember from Christian youth summer camp: Maylene & the Sons of Disaster throw Southern rock into the mix, while Blessed By a Broken Heart blends together shred-tastic metal and '80s electro-cheese. Lyrically, most of these bands substitute positive-thinking manifestos for overt preaching, but some aren't even all that positive. On his band's new album, A Plea For Purging vocalist Andy Atkins roars, "If I were God, we'd all be dead." Most of this stuff offers enough crushing guitar riffs and anthemic choruses to please even atheistic listeners – at least on disc. Live, you're likely to get some decidedly spiritual between-song banter. Caveat emptor.

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