Tuesday, Aug. 15, Burt’s Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); Free: Imagine yourself on a bus with no one on it except you and the driver. Suddenly, the bus lurches forward and the bus driver reaches back to where you’re sitting and places his hand on your knee. He tells you, “We’re going to be OK,” as he gives you a yellow-toothed but sincere grin. With that, he launches the bus, careening out of control, until finally you go crashing through a glass-walled building. As the bus comes to a halt, you realize that, save for a few glass shards in your lap, you are completely unscathed and after seeing that your body is intact, the driver shoots you another grin as he exits the vehicle.
The ride you’ve just taken is exactly how it feels to go on a sonic journey with the boys of Opus Dai. Their brand of progressive metal is ferocious, intense and often teeters on the edge of chaos. Still, there’s unmistakable warmth to their songs that shines through the dark clouds of anguish brought about by the somber tone of most OD tracks.
Much of this musical compassion comes from Chris-Paul Basso’s vocals, which are an earthy combination of AFI’s Davey Havok and Tool/Perfect Circle’s Maynard James. Soaring, driven hooks and consciously reeled-in guitar work go places that most metal acts wouldn’t dream of; actively tackling uncommon time signatures while being careful not to leave anyone in the dust. Opus Dai could adequately be described as indie rock for metal heads or, to a lesser extent, metal for indie rock fans.