Christian hard rock band Bride surprised several die-hard fans with This Is It, released independently in 2003 through the band's website (www.bridepub.com). However, This Is It would only be Bride's departure from full-time touring in the United States and receiving no further support from record labels such as Star Song. In 2006, Bride removed all doubt that they were breaking up and released their next album Skin For Skin, which received positive reviews from several Christian hard rock magazines and websites. The band also re-released This Is It with new artwork and the original demo tracks from early sessions.
Old fans of Bride will definitely enjoy the opening track "Blow It All Away," which brings back the Guns N' Roses influences that were evident on the classic Snakes In The Playground album. Vocalist Dale Thompson sings about the spiritual journey of a man leaving behind his worldly burdens and living for Jesus Christ, "Once I was a man with lost identity, Now I lift up the Christ that lives in me, If my Kingdom were of this world today, I think I'd blow it all away." Halfway through the song, Troy Thompson has this beautiful guitar solo that will keep classic rock fans smiling with each listen. Once the first song is over, it becomes difficult to further enjoy the rest of the upcoming tracks.
As hard as it is to hear, "Blow It All Away" is the only track on the album worth listening to over and over again. "More Than Human" and "Drop D" are great songs, but both bring more of an aggressive heavy metal approach similar to Rage Against The Machine and a little of Disturbed, that will have old fans scratching their heads. Other times on the songs "To The Sky," "Best I Expect To Do," and "Evil Geniuses," it feels like Troy Thompson kept his guitar tuned to the same levels and slightly changed some of the riffs in order to create the songs. "Barren River Blues" brings the album to a screeching halt, but it is a clever southern rock/country song that is a fun listen. Included with this re-release are the demo tracks to "Blow It All Away," "This Is The Now" among others that just do not make the cut.
Musically, Dale and Troy Thompson have somewhat experimented with this release. A percentage of the tracks bring an excellent performance, but most of the heavier material will be hard for fans of the late 80's and early 90's era to digest. Unless you are a true fan of the old and new school material of Bride, there's no reason to pick up this album. Everyone else who has enjoyed listening to Bride during the last 10 years should enjoy This Is It.
- Review date: 1/14/10, written by Fred Keel of Jesusfreakhideout.com