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Scream the Prayer Tour III 

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

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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