BRIDE - SHOW NO MERCY (Retroactive Records)
(Review by Stefan)
For the origin of particular bands we have to go way back in time – the review I am going to create right now belongs to an American act named Bride. Some history research on the band’s past told me that everything started with another formation called Matrix; formed by the brothers Dale (vocals) and Troy (guitars) Thompson in 1983. Line up completed, a few demo’s were recorded, gigs were done,… as we heard many times before, great bands working fingers to the bone but unfortunately never get the opportunity the sign a contract. Totally unfair to me but that’s how the story goes. This also happened to Matrix but they didn’t give up the fight. Later on they changed name into Bride and a new chapter in their existence could start.
Bride was noted by Pure Metal Records and offered them a contract, which was nothing more than a well deserved gift from heaven to me. Entitled “Show No Mercy”, the album originally came out back in 1986 and Millennium Eight Records did it all over again in 1999, including bonus songs taken from the Matrix demo period basically. The following discussion I’d like to write down right now is based on a re-mastered release I received from Retroactive Records. The label just brought “Show No Mercy – The Originals Disc One”, the first CD version of Bride’s debut album and the good news is that the following two albums called “Live To Die” and “Silence Is Madness” have also been released. I'm very grateful to Retroactive Records for such a great initiative – this is my opinion on Bride’s debut album “Show No Mercy”.
Way back in the middle 80s, Heavy Metal ruled with an iron hand and definitely the most highlighted period of my entire Metal experience. Bride belongs to the category of Christian Metal bands, they actually were one of the pioneers of the so called ‘Devine Metal’ movement. I’d like to define it as US Classic Metal and there were tons of great bands to enjoy those days, take that from me! Some turned their backs to Bride and other bands because of the Christian based lyrics but I had no problem with that. Main point to me was the fact most of the bands featured high-pitched vocalists and technical guitar players delivering outstanding riffs and flammable solo’s. Were these elements also found within Bride? Better believe they were! Sharp vocals with high pitched passages able to cut through flesh and bone – bass and drum works perfectly worked out and mainly the guitar striking moments were unbelievable amazing. Both riff and solo passages solid as a rock, sharp as a razorblade and technical as can be. I still can’t get enough of it.
“Show No Mercy’ brings on pure US Metal with some kind of a dark vibe which turns out heavenly good. Back in time, Christian Metal had a quite big name – you had to be strong to compete with other troops to survive. Bride did and to me all had to do with their unique sound and excellent players on board of the ship. There are ten songs on the tracklist, re-mastered in very good conditions – nothing but moments to fully enjoy while listening to the entire album.
‘Evil That Men Do’ opens hard, I mean real hard mostly coming from the drummer’s furious skin beats. Singer Dale showcases for the first time what a great musician he really is – a man with a lot a versatile within his might. ‘Fly Away’ opens in an acoustic way but a bit later on, all changes into a real up-tempo Heavy Metal killer song with nice melodies and many more elements to please. ‘Forever In Darkness’ sounds like the title suggest – this is the most dark minded, still a very good work … be aware of Dale’s chilling type vocal offerings! More haunting moments awaits you all during a song called ‘I Will Be With You’ – this is a fast one with high-pitched vocals and excellent guitar virtuosity. ‘Thunder In The East’ gives me some kind of a strange feeling because of the piano use in the beginning and vocals with a Gothic approach - using voice synths in this song are no option to me honestly spoken. “No Matter The Price’ is one of my favourites – containing high pitch vocals and shred guitar tactics those who leaves me speechless behind… what superb song! “Show No Mercy” brings on one last song entitled ‘The First Will Be Last’, again very high vocals and pure US Classic Metal riffs including wonderful solo’s.
For sure and without a doubt, “Show No Mercy” is a fantastic US Heavy Metal effort that brought on so many moments of excitement way back in the eighties – now that I’ve heard the entire album again after all those years makes a very happy person of me. Fans who’d like to keep their Classic Metal collection complete can the album order via Retroactive Records at: http://www.myspace.com/retroactivewreckage
My Points: 94 / 100