Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bride - Snakes in the Playground (1992)

This is it...the mother lode. Even if you weren't familiar with any Christian hard rock or metal in the early 90's, it's hard to ignore releases like this. Bride made waves in the industry with this hard-hitting record. After moving away from a decidedly 80's American metal sound with the previous record "Kinetic Faith", Bride cranks up the volume on this one to play what could be considered a mix of metal & hard rock sounds. I would equate this record to Guns `n Roses' "Appetite For Destruction" or Skid Row's "Slave to the Grind" both in style & quality. Every track on here is killer, including the couple instrumental interludes and the short bluegrass diversion "Salt River Shuffle" with Greg Martin (legendary bluegrass player). From the anthemic opener "Rattlesnake", to the album's barn burner "Fallout", to the anti-abortion song "Picture Perfect", this album is a winner.

Lyrically, Dale Thompson is in fine form here as well. "Picture Perfect" opens with the line "Coat-hanger alley where the doctors work cheap" - an obvious allusion to the early days of abortions before they were legalized. "Love, Money" talks about gang violence in a very intelligent manner, and "Would You Die For Me" is an interesting look at greed and how it affects us versus sacrifice & the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for mankind on the cross, without being heavy-handed or overly preachy. Guitarist Troy Thompson is also in fine form here, turning out some tasty riffage, and some nice solos. Troy has never been a power-house soloist; rather, his solos are mostly written to accent the songs. They do that & more here, where all the solos fit very well into the songs.

Bottom line is, if you don't already have this CD in your Christian music collection & you enjoy hard rock in the least, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? This is probably one of my top 25 all-time favorite Christian rock/metal CDs, & one that I am forever grateful for. As far as I'm aware, the only way to get your hands on this CD (other than buying it used) is to purchase directly from the band ( I don't believe the album is in print any more through Star Song, but the band probably has a few copies yet to sell. In any event, PLEASE go to Bride's website & buy it. They have it priced at only $14, which is a good deal for a still-sealed copy of a 15-year old magnum opus that hasn't been in print for a while.


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