Bride has always been one of those artists that people either love ‘em or hate ‘em. In the beginning it was due to the music and at times abrasive vocals of lead singer Dale Thompson, now its theology. Well I’m not focused theology here but on music.
Retroactive Records has reissued the Bride The Lost Reels set and for many of us that is cause for rejoicing! I missed the original issues back some 10 - 15 years ago now but have heard a lot of great things about them. Personally I’m all for digging up treasures that never appeared on officially released albums. Sometimes the producers “produce out” the energy that made the songs great in a live setting.
With Bride that would be have a travesty because musically Bride has always been about the ENERGY that defined their sound. If you’ve ever seen them live you’ll know exactly what I speak of, passionate, driving and mesmerizing. My first experience was in 1988 when they made their first trek to the West Coast and played the second HIS Festival. We eagerly awaited their arrival of Dale and company and didn’t leave disappointed. They blew us away.
The Lost Reels Volume 1 is a 20 song affair that was originally part of the M8 double disc set with a disc of Matrix tracks (Bride’s original name was Matrix). These twenty tracks are an amalgam of songs that didn’t quite fit for one reason or another on other Bride albums. There are some gems here (Pyramid comes immediately to mind) all remastered for greater clarity and frequency response.
The Lost Reels Volume 2 is a 14 song offering with demo tracks from the Star Song/Pure Metal years, Scarecrow Messiah, Snakes in the Playground and Kinetic Faith. This disc is chock full of hits in their original form. At times I wondered how these original tunes were crafted into the familiar melodies we all know and love. Everybody Knows My Name is included here in its embryonic form closer to the Kinetic Faith version not the superior End of An Age version. Hired Gun is great in any version and this rough demo shows why this is a classic piece of metal history.
From the lyrics to the performance, Dez Dickerson had a lot to mold and help craft together, after all that is part of a producer’s job. Scarecrow rocks here as well and for a bonus Retroactive was able to add Bride’s cover of Steve Taylor’s We Don’t Need Know Colour Code from the REX Steve Taylor compilation.
The Lost Reels Volume 3 contains demo tracks recorded for The Jesus Experience album. Yet of the 11 songs recorded nine of them have didn’t appear on that album!! For the uninitiated it just shows how much work goes into songwriting and crafting a collection of songs for a release. Many of the songs here definitely have a ‘modern’ edge to them but are well crafted and memorable. The twelfth track Alive was originally included on the Heaven’s Metal Hard Music Compilation of which only 1000 copies were printed.
All three releases have been remastered by J Powell at Steinhaus and have again done a masterful job. There is great clarity amongst all three releases and while the term ‘demo’ is used to describe many of the songs on these albums the quality is vastly superior to what one would expect from ‘demo’ tracks. No they aren’t completed but they were not recorded on a tape recorder in a garage. Many were recorded in studio with DAT (digital audio tape) directly or using a 32 channel mixing board.
Fans of Bride should be jumping for joy as these add a completed chapter to one of the long term purveyors of metal with a Christian point of view. A box set would’ve been nice but financially prohibitive. Fans of Stryper, Bloodgood would enjoy these albums as well. Grab your copy of these updated gems before they disappear again.
Fans of Bride this is a must buy so a 9 axe review…..