Unlike many of their Christian metal colleagues of the '80s (Stryper
, Barren Cross
, etc.), Louisville, Kentucky's Bride continue to preach their message of faith, uninterrupted by personnel and stylistic about faces, going on two decades now.
Originally calling themselves Matrix, brothers Dale (vocals) and Troy Thompson
(guitar) began writing songs as early as 1983, but it would take them three years of anonymous labor -- recording demos to sell at concerts and through Contemporary Christian Music magazine -- to attract the attention of Refuge Records. When they did, the label went so far as to create a new imprint -- appropriately called Pure Metal -- specifically for the band, which by this time also featured guitarist Steve Osborne, bassist Scott Hall, and drummer Stephan Rolland. There followed two albums: 1986's Show No Mercy and 1987's Live to Die, whose nasty titles and aggressive, Judas Priest
-inspired songs belied the ultra-devout Christian messages evident in their lyrics. 1989's Silence Is Madness found the band reduced to a four-piece, and 1990s End of the Age proved a rather premature greatest-hits collection, since Bride returned to action the very next year with their fourth studio album, Kinetic Faith. As well as introducing a new rhythm section (consisting of bassist Rick Foley and drummer Jerry McBroom) to back up the Dale and Troy Thompson
, this and subsequent LPs Snakes in the Playground (1992) and Scarecrow Messiah (1994) showed a mellower side of the group, which appeared to have adopted the prevalent hair metal trends of the time. Another greatest-hits set -- curiously entitled Shotgun Wedding -- emerged in 1995, and after welcoming new bass player Steve Curtsinger, Bride carried on releasing albums (1995's Drop, 1997's The Jesus Experience, etc.) and touring regularly throughout the decade, culminating in a series of live albums to usher in the new millennium. 2001 found the indefatigable brothers breaking in yet another new rhythm section (bassist Lawrence Bishop
and drummer Mike Loy) with the Fistful of Bees album -- the better to commemorate their 20th anniversary in music with 2003's This Is It. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi