The Devil Wears Prada w/ As I Lay Dying, The Chariot and For Today @ The Rave
March 29, 2013
Each band on the bill eschews the satanic trappings so common to certain sectors of their genre because they are unambiguously, but poetically, Christian in their lyrics. So, while the upraised index finger and pinky salute popularized by the late Ronnie James Dio may be intended as compliments, they were something of a hoot to see in context. And at least since the infiltration of Stryper into the hairspray brigade of ’80s glam, hard music, fans in the general marketplace have been open to embracing quality acts looking forward to heaven rather than its southerly opposite. These two are among the most successful in the current century no matter the spiritual affiliation, with each having debuted in the top 10 of Billboard's overall album sales chart in recent years.
Though As I Lay Dying and The Devil Wears Prada share one Lord, dual "unclean" and singing vocalists, a large overlap of fan bases and the general classification of metalcore (more or less a hardcore punk/extreme metal hybrid), their approaches differ markedly. The former are given more to full-on guitar solos and an epic sensory presentation style, with classically inclined sweeping melodies. The latter, who closed the three and a half-hour show, derive their power from sternum-pummeling percussion, electronic embellishments and spoken vocal samples that drive home a sound more given to riffing than soloing. The slightly altered inverted triangle logo that figures in the artwork of their latest release, Dead Throne, and on their stage backdrop would work equally well for some obscure, nebulously threatening European industrial ensemble.
Though metal tends to engender a communal vibe in a live setting, the headliners' faith, doubtless shared by a significant percentage of the audience, seemed to bestow a less angry and aggro vibe throughout the venue. Lead Prada singer Mike Hranica noted toward the close of the band’s set that everyone was welcome at their dates regardless of their beliefs, but he also thanked attendees for being good to one another in the mosh pit.
The night's openers were apt complements to the main draws as well. The Chariot, arguably the most musically shambolic of the evening's lot, possess an engaging knack for hooks that should make for compelling listening as their other gifts develop further. That is if they want to develop them—they've been around for a decade now. Though the night’s first band For Today were roughly chronological contemporaries to the Prada boys, they looked and sounded most like they emanated from an older school of hardcore, but in a largely complementary way. They also looked to be the band most vocal about their Christianity in what little room they were allowed for banter between their five numbers.