Saturday, January 8, 2011

BRIDE - SHOW NO MERCY remastered

One of the most popular bands in the history of metal has just had their first three albums remastered and reissued. That band is, of course, Bride. Before everyone knew their name or found a snake in the playground, we learned to follow our heart through the thunder in the city. Bride’s first album Show No Mercy is pure heavy metal, perhaps along the lines of Savatage or Crimson Glory.

Show No Mercy has a gothic in feel with crunchy guitars and pounding drums, but perhaps even more so is the soaring vocals of Dale Thompson. No one sounds like Dale and no one really sounds like Bride for that matter. The remastering process has done wonders for the clarity and heaviness of this metal classic.

The original album issued from Pure Metal in 1986 suffered a bit sonically from a muddied sound and lack of proper mastering. Guitar parts were buried and forgotten, not mention any subtleties in the acoustic guitar department, vocal harmonies? HA. Steinhaus has performed a miraculous transformation, with this release. The guitars are clear and crunchy with a bass guitar that suddenly has greater definition and the drums simply kick butt.

Classics like Thunder in the City, No Matter the Price, Follow Your Heart, Fly Away and the raucous title track shine like never before. This is 80’s heavy metal, not thrash or pop metal but heavy metal that grabs you by the throat and delivers the goods. Steve Osborne’s solo on Now Matter the Price sounds simply stellar.

There really quite a bit of maturity in the songwriting on this album. A three chord chug chug chug affair this isn’t. Those elements are present, but Bride does offer more than that to the listener. Lyrically not as obvious as some would like, but that was part of the mystery and part of the appeal.

For me however, the apex of this album has always been Follow Your Heart. Chunky heavy metal, with a great hook and a vocal performance that gave me chills then and now. This cleaner version brings out so much that was buried in the previous releases, very nice indeed.

This remaster comes as a 6 panel digi pack with new liner notes by Troy Thompson and some new photos of that time period. Bride may feel that they recorded this album on a shoe string, but I think it holds up pretty darn well.

Show No Mercy is part of Retroactive’s ‘The Originals’ series, albums that have been unavailable but are being released in the form of their original issues. No bonus material is included but when the original material sounds this stellar and strong, I could care less. Pick up Show No Mercy and prepare to be impressed.

8 axes


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