BRIDE - Silence Is Madness (Limited Run Vinyl)
On a military base somewhere in the very late months of 1985, I pulled a little package out of my mailbox, and what I found inside would be the beginning of a decades long musical journey that has yet to fully stop. Inside were a couple tapes from a little band known as Matrix. The cassettes themselves had printed labels, a step up from hand-written ones as many demos had, but the cover in the case was simply a glossy band photo carefully cut to fit the case. The music was high energy rock and roll and gave many hours of joy.
By 1986, the band was changing names and had gotten signed to release their first album. When it arrived, Show No Mercy did exactly that - it was a merciless assault of high energy metallic rock, paired with high ranged vocals of a unique nature. These were the early days of Christian metal, so what was offered here was quite unique and quite impressive in comparison to the small amount of metal available.
1988 brought the sophomore release Live to Die, and the double bass intro of told us were were in for a treat. A much more warm and mature sounding record, it had all the necessary pieces to be a full-force metal masterpiece, and Dale's vocal approach was showing us just what a powerhouse singer he was becoming. I instantly fell in love with it, and wore out this first Bride release on CD at the time.
However, the following year, when 1989's Silence is Madness was released, on first listen I was taken aback by the style change. The difference between album one and two were more of a normal progression you'd expect from a new band finding themselves while recording. Album three was an unexpected musical change, in a less metal direction, which is those days was not what we thought we were looking for. As we all know, in hindsight, Bride has changed sounds with almost every release, but at this time it caught me off guard. While very hard rocking still, the music and vocal styling was much less metallic than previous releases.
While at first this was unexpected and an unfavorable direction, a few subsequent listens later changed my concept, and this went on to become one of my favorite releases, and that holds true to this day. Everything about this release was more mature - the music, the vocals, the lyrics, the overall fun.
Unlike some of the Limited Run Vinyl series, this is not the first time this is being released on vinyl. This was the second Bride album to be released immediately on CD, and the last Bride album to be released on vinyl, so I opted for CD and therefore never owned it originally on vinyl; it was the new CD revolution after all. Well, decades later, here I am back on the vinyl train and finding the experiences of vinyl better than ever. So the announcement of the forthcoming vinyl reissue of this, one of my cherished favorite Bride albums, was blessed news for sure. And I was not disappointed.
This Limited Run Vinyl series is answering so many prayers when it comes to seeing classic releases on vinyl, and the quality of each so far has been exceptional in both packaging and musical presentation. I ripped into this package when it came in and immediately tossed this release on the turntable. What came out of my mid-range priced turntable/speaker set up was astounding. What I was hearing was NOT what I had experienced over the decades past with CDs. Was it just too much excitement on my part, or was their new life contained here in one of my favorite releases?
On top of all my favorite tracks, we are given a bonus track. The year following this release, in 1990, the band had released a best-of album which included two brand-new tracks. One of those tracks, Same Ol' Sinner, was added here to round out this album at ten tracks. The completist in me wishes they could have included the other track, Everybody Knows My Name (probably my favorite of the two), but I am not complaining at all about being given this bonus track.
More and more I am convinced that music just sounds best on vinyl. The depth of range and warmth offered is much fuller than digital formats, and I was experiencing Silence is Madness anew. If you want to have this same experience, act fast, as there are only 200 of these pressed and at the time of this review, it has been many weeks since these became available, so they won't be around much longer.
Remastered for vinyl
180 Gram Grey and Blue Swirl Vinyl
Only 200 units pressed
A1. Fool Me Once
A2. Hot Down South
A3. Silence is Madness
A4. Until the End We Rock
A5. Evil Dreams
B1. Under the Influence
B2. All Hallow's Eve
B3. No More Nightmares
B4. Rock Those Blues Away
B5. Same Ol' Sinner (Bonus Track)