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SIM is the third album by Christian band Bride and what a band they were. With Live to Die they managed to play ripping heavy metal from start to end. Fast songs with killer guitar solos and slashing vocals plus allegorical dark lyrics ala Ronnie James Dio were the trademark for these guys. With this we get straighter heavy metal to the core except for some boring songs that I will detail on later. Anyhow, this has been really hard to get through the years but fortunately it was re-mastered with some bonus tracks that are nothing but romantic demos and two good heavy/hard rocking songs that will later appear in a ‘’Best of’’ collection.
Through the years Dale Thompson suffered Bon Jovi’s syndrome where he used to scream so loud and so passionately that he has lost his power and voice. By now he does not scream anymore but that is another story. This record along with LTD is the most excruciating vocal performance that will rip your ears in seconds due to high octaves he is able to reach and the killer screams ala Dio and even higher, very much in the screaming style of Halford (although the voices are not remotely similar).
Next the guitar comes. Troy T. is a very good guitar player and again here he shows off what he is capable to do. Some of he riffs are very interesting and the solos are quite equally as good. The two brothers have been the focal point of the band until today. Numerous lineup changes in the bass and drums departments have been going on since early days and the best lineup is still to come in the next releases but with this one the guys do their job although the bass lines are almost imperceptible.
Now on the songs: ‘Fool me once’ opens and it has a very interesting riff and those kick ass vocals. A good opener if you ask me, for 80’s heavy metal standard. ‘Hot Down South Tonight’ follows and this one is really bad. Actually it became one of the ‘best of’ I do not understand why, I mean, it is boring and has nothing to leave you with. ‘Silence is Madness’ comes next and being the title track it is more a regular song. It has good screams at the end.
The lyrics here took an even darker feeling next to some other songs that are ‘happier’. ‘Until the end we rock’ is the happy song. It is all ultra catchy and melodic, very much ala Stryper’s ‘Calling on you’. The vocals are sung in higher notes to go along with the music. I like it and very much. ‘Evil Dreams’ is next and again a regular song with nothing to offer. Under the Influence is again a ‘hit’ when they play live. It has a very boring riff and the chorus is even worst.
‘All Hollow’s Eve’ is the epic killer song in the same vein of ‘Heroes’ from LTD. The lyrics are very few in order to give more room for showing off musical skills and instrumental passages all but delicious. The good riff and the gloomy chorus are perfect and the middle instrumental part kicks your ass with a guitar and drums rhythm part that speeds things up and then the tempo changes rock your butt. The final scream is very similar to Axel Rose’s in You Could be Mine’. This is the kind of song to leave you wanting more. ‘No More Nightmares’ follows the same vein of Evil Dreams. Good but nothing remarkable. ‘Rock Those Blues Away’ is the closer and it is all but completely boring and if you want to picture it imagine Motorhead’s ‘Inferno’ closer song which is an acoustic blues too. This was a very bad way to close an album with some killer songs in it.
This was the last time Bride wrote interesting lyrics in a heavy metal way. The next release was more hard rock in your face with a more commercial appeal. For what is worth, these 3 first releases are pure heavy metal delight and they deserve a change to be remembered so. ‘Everybody Knows my Name’ and ‘Same ol Sinner’ were written for this album but they clearly are out of place since the song writing, guitar distortion and vocal performance are completely different and more in the style to come two years later, but that my friends is another story.