Reviewed by Paul S Ganney
As long term devotees of CCM will know, during the '90s Bride became America's premier Christian hard rock band and in fact won Dove Awards on four consecutive years (1992-1995). Now, thanks to the sterling efforts of Retroactive Records, a shoal of unreleased material has been unearthed and re-issued for Bride's enclave of collectors. Down the years Bride have been through quite a few band members, but vocalist Dale Thompson (who sounds like a cross between Axl Rose and Rob Halford on tracks such as "Dirty" and "Pyramid") and his brother guitarist Troy Thompson have remained throughout. The tracks on this CD are material recorded between 1988 and 1993 for possible inclusion on albums released then, but didn't quite make it (although two tracks did eventually morph into one that did and "How Long" made an appearance on a live album). The CD has energy, but the songwriting is not quite there - which may explain why these tracks didn't get released first time around: good but not yet great. Some moments don't quite sound right, as though they'd have been tidied up/re-recorded if the track had made it. The album is surprisingly consistent, given its origins, but doesn't have those standout moments that would mark it out as a "must-have", although the album that "I Don't Get It" and "Hollywood" failed to make it onto must have been a cracker to keep these out and the quality improves as the CD progresses, despite it not being in chronological order. The rockers, especially the heavier ones, stand out overall. If you're after an introduction to Bride, then this is probably not the best one. If you've got some of their CDs and are wondering whether this is worth adding to your collection, then the answer would seem to be "yes". The best track here is "I Am The Devil".
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