So you into the Christian metal music scene then you have got to have heard of the band Bride, right? Well I am assuming you have, Bride has been around recording material since about 1983 under the name Matrix originally if I am not mistaken, changed to the name Bride think around 1986, so if you are tallying up experience in the industry, that is 38 years in the business. They have including this just in their main album releases 16 albums available in their catalogue to reference to, that’s a mighty large volume of music to sink your teeth into, and certainly from a standing the test of time perspective, there is much validation in that catalogue to be had regarding their musical ability and importance in the world’s heavy metal scene. They are certainly for me from a Christian metal and hard rock historical point of view one of the main metal bands to come out of the scene, and they have by all accounts cemented themselves as a large influence in the metal and hard rock Christian scene itself, particularly in places like Brazil. It does not mean that they have not had their ups and downs concerning their albums, and appeal of their albums, but certainly in their catalogue there are no albums you feel need to be avoided like a plague. Stylistically Bride incorporated many variations of styles of music into their brand as they matured over the years.
There are definitive periodic lines that one can draw, in terms of particular Bride era’s in their sound. It’s probably one of the attributes that I love most about the band and maybe one of the things that has kept Bride over the years relevant and musically progressive as a band. They certainly have not pandered or towed the line of a specific stylistic genre in the metal music scene. Thus it’s kept their flavour original, and consistently fresh in my mind, and you get a sense they enjoy experimenting and pushing the envelope of their sound, thus continuingly offering new variations of their sound release to release. Even when they choose to double back on previous styles and bring it a new to the fans, it’s introduced to the listener with a fresh reference. This is where “Here Is Your God” enters, the latest album release from Bride.
On first listen through I got the feeling that the guys at Bride looked back upon their previous releases, and draw from the highlights of their history and even perhaps took input from the fans to create the album, “Here Is Your God”, again to help establish a relevant context for the release that would appeal to the baseline fans of the band. With that in mind, the album sets in with the full frontal assault of,”Demon Speed” hitting hard at every point of its composition. Its blazes with an atomic assault that hammers forth with aggressive and deliberate intent. Certainly a little old school Bride at its core to get the blood flowing with new school prowess injected into its body, setting the stage for what is ultimately old school Bride brought forward with a modern touch to it, and it works for them. The guitars are furious and riffy filled with adrenaline grit, that keeps the blood pumping and the heart racing. “Demon Speed” is the perfect song to set the tone for the album, it’s a launching pad for the album and digs in hard as an introduction, and guide to the release that makes up the ground compared to the last two albums, which were good as well, but lacked something in terms of that old school Bride vibe I fell in love with years ago. For me “Snakes In The Playground” is one of the pinnacle moments in Bride’s career, and I often make the mistake of using that album as yardstick or a rule of thumb to every other release after that they have done, which is a little unfair when you think each release has its own life and style in a way. “Here Is Your God” however is like a historical educated analysis of everything we have come to like of Bride as a band musically over their career. “Demon Speed” does leave you with a wow factor expression, almost unexpected sensation of what was that? But in a great way.
“In My Own Time” is a melodic anthemic Bride song, it is both reflective and forms a solid backbone to the release and foundationally tensions the album like a well placed peg. Dale’s vocals are still great even though you can hear his voice has aged some, and some of clarity is touch and go at times, but when compared to many other vocalists who have 30 year span of singing, his still up there with some of the best. Lyrically as always, Bride has some deep contemplative moment’s that can cause one to stop and reflect, “In My Own Time” is one of those songs.
Dale and Troy Thompson are one of the best musical teams I have encountered in my years as a music nutter and appreciator, and that teamwork is evident with consistency on a song like “The Unhallowed”. Tons of conviction and assertiveness is felt, and Troy shows off his talent by bending the universe with an amazing solo. Bride really know how to put a groove down still and, “Here Is Your God” is filled with riffs that dig down deep in the groove machine of rock n roll. Again also songs like “Unhallowed” show how Bride are not a one trick pony and have a very wide musical atmosphere from where they operate from, additionally not limited to just one corner of the universe.
One thing I have always loved about Dale, is the passion he sings with, it comes deep from his core, and that intensity of it is evident across the entire album from start to finish, largely brought to life by the production and mixing of the album. Nothing more electrifies what I just said than the song “I Promise”, showcasing a funkier feel to their sound, it comes across nice and strong and aggressive, Troy guitar work steals the show…wait the drumming carries the song with a militant assault as it helps in keeping everything tight and energetic.
In finalizing the review what can one say about Bride in a few short lines that ultimately sums up the album as a whole. Well after all these years Bride has in no small measure proven once again their right to be called one of the best Christian metal bands the Christian music scene has had the privilege to experience ever. “Here is Your God” brings back the highlights of their career in one apex package. The last to releases before this where great, but somehow tailed on previous releases accolades, where “Here Is Your God” stands as its own, and is some of the best material they have produced in a while. Though evidence would steer one to the idea that the band actively researched with their fandom to create what could be termed for technical criticism, safe. There is no taking away from the fact that the songs are played with conviction, that the lyrics are delivered with passion and belief, and that as a whole the albums boils with the original DNA, that is uniquely Bride. Consequently I don’t think another band could replace Bride stylistically. The quality of musicianship is top notch, it entices and pulls one into the compositions, where the message of lyrics are able to hold one and embrace one with its sincerity and truth. “Here Is Your God” is a timeless showcase that Bride is still able to deliver the goods after all these years, still able to expand on their repertoire with amazing talent.
Written by Donovan de Necker.
1. Demon Speed
2. Here Is Your God
3. In My Own Time
4. The Unhallowed
5. In the End
6. Like I Never Was
7. Shine On You
8. I Promise
9. What Will the End Be
10. Send Your Angels
11. Letter of Light
12. Burning From Within
Release Date: December 15th. 2020
Record Label: Retroactive Records
Current Line Up:
Dale Thompson – Vocals
Nenel Lucena – Bass
Aposan Alexandre – Drums
Troy Thompson – Guitars
Main studio albums:
Show No Mercy (1986, Pure Metal)
Live to Die (1988, Pure Metal)
Silence Is Madness (1989, Pure Metal)
Kinetic Faith (1991 Star Song)
Snakes in the Playground (1992, Star Song)
Scarecrow Messiah (1994, Star Song)
Drop (1995, Rugged Records)
The Jesus Experience (September 16, 1997, Organic)
Oddities (November 23, 1998, Organic, Reviews: HM Magazine)
Fist Full of Bees (2001, Absolute Records)
This Is It (2003, independent)
Skin for Skin (2006, Retroactive Records)
Tsar Bomba (2009, Retroactive Records)
Incorruptible (2013, Retroactive Records)
Snake Eyes (2018, independent)
Here Is Your God (2020)
Compilations and other releases :
End of the Age (1990, Star Song)
Snakes in the Playground Special Collector’s Edition (1992, Star Song)
God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll to You (1993, Star Song)
Shotgun Wedding: 11 No. 1 Hits and Mrs. (1995, Star Song)
Lost Reels I (1994, independent)
Lost Reels II (1994, independent)
I Predict a Clone – various artists (1994 REX 41004-2, a tribute to Steve Taylor)
Lost Reels III (1997, independent)
Bride Live! Volume I (1999, Old School Records)
Bride Live Volume II Acoustic (2000, Millennium Eight Records)
Best of Bride (June 27, 2000, Organic Records)
Live at Cornerstone 2001 (2001, Millennium Eight Records)
The Matrix Years / Lost Reels (2001, Millennium Eight Records)
MP3 Major Releases (2001, independent)
MP3 Independent Releases (2001, independent)
The Organic Years (2002, Millennium Eight Records)
Raw (2003, independent 7-track demo)
This Is It (2006, Retroactive Records with bonus tracks)
Lyric Video for ‘Demon Speed’
Video (audio) for ‘Here Is Your God’