Live to Die is Bride. It’s what made the band great, before Dale and Troy Thompson and co. hit a homerun with Snakes In the Playground. But don’t get me wrong. Snakes was a great record, an excellent hard rock album. However, Live to Die didn’t bow to any set formula, or to what “critics” and record “execs” deemed as bankable.
For one thing, on Live to Die, Dale’s voice is frighteningly high and downright shrill at times. However, it suits the music fine. Not that Thompson doesn’t have a great voice on Psychedelic Super Jesus, Everybody Knows My Name and Would You Die For Me, three of the band’s hard rock anthems that came after Live to Die and Silence is Madness, the latter of which was the band’s final record of the ’80s. It’s just that I’d take Out For Blood, Hell No and Heroes over those three any day of the week. Heck, and what about Here Comes the Bride? A brutal, thrasher that makes Bloodgood’s legendary Black Snake sound tame.
The title track Live to Die, though, is probably my favorite Bride song of all time. It’s punctuated by Thompson’s high-pitched vocals, great lyrics and heavy instrumentation. Like I said, this is the record that I associate with Bride. Don’t get me wrong, though. The band’s body of work in the early ’90s is quality stuff, and Thompson is without doubt the greatest singer ever in the Christian hard rock/metal genre. But the apocalyptic doom and gloom (check out that album cover!) and no-holds barred approach the band took on Live to Die make it one of the greatest Christian hard rock records ever made.