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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Label: Retroactive Records
Time: 14 tracks/54:12 min
Bride had a strong rebound with their last disc, This Is It, and look to capitalize on their fans’ heightened expectation and goodwill. Does Skin for Skin follow suit? Does it remind more of their glory days or of their more gory days?
“The Calm” is an indication that this is going for more of a modern, power-rock sound rather than more of This Is It’s return to Brides '80’s roots. It is a brief (less than 1 minute) instrumental that would probably sound right at home on a Nine Inch Nails disc. After that, the songs come flying in, reminiscent of modern rock bands such as Slipknot or Korn. But this is not the Nu-Metal of P.O.D. or Linkin Park. The songs are all sung, with no rapping, thankfully.
The fifth track, “Inside Ourselves” is a riff driven rocker that showcases Dale Thompson’s vocal prowess. He still has the range & the growls, as always. He delivers many strong vocal performances, though he exercises his lower range and grungier vocals more than his range on this project. Overall, the songs aren’t up in the ranks of the best of Bride, but are good-to-nearly great.
Lawrence Bishop (Bass) once again joins Dale (Vocals) and Troy (Guitars) Thompson for this album. Drumming is handled by Jason Lewis and Mark Gray. The significant news is the return of Steve Osborne (Guitar solos) as a guest musician. His master guitar work has not been heard on a Bride disc since Live to Die. He delivers solos throughout the album.
The recording sounds well-recorded and tight. Each instrumentalist delivers a strong performance & the sounds mesh well together. Even though I prefer the more “classic” Bride sound, this is probably the strongest mixture of recorded product & packaging the band has ever delivered.
As long as you are not looking for another return to Snakes in the Playground, metal fans everywhere should be pleased with this Bride CD.
By Jonathan Nelson