Frontiers Records [Release date 16.10.15]
Few bands can have been subject to such misconceptions as Stryper. The overt way they wore their Christian faith on their distinctive yellow and black sleeves divided opinion when they emerged in the eighties and, worse still, their breakthrough American hits were sickly ballads.
Not being a man of faith myself, I barely gave them a second thought yet when they headlined the Frontiers Rock Festival last year friends begged me to give them a chance and it is fair to say I was blown away by the power of their performance.
With singer Michael Sweet having already collaborated with George Lynch on one of the albums of the year, I therefore approached this album, their first of new material since 2013’s ‘No More Hell To Pay’ with some interest.
While they have toned down their image they are still unapologetic about their faith as evidenced by six and a half minute opener ‘Yahweh’ which begins with some choral chanting. Both that and the second song ‘Fallen’ have loads of shredding guitar solos from Michael and co-guitarist Oz Fox. ‘Pride’ may surprise people with some riffery worthy of Metallica or Megadeth and remarkably there is even a faithful cover of Black Sabbath’s ‘After Forever’.
However the big choruses of ‘Big Screen Lies’ and ‘Heaven’ will appeal to more traditional Stryper fans as will ‘Love You Like I Do’ where the wall of harmony vocals makes the chorus even bigger.
Throughout the vocals of Sweet are crystal clear yet soaringly powerful and though ballads are in short supply ‘All Over Again’ is a perfect showcase for them. ‘Till I Get What I Need’ is another highlight with searing solos over a powerful riff and ‘Let There Be Light’ again sees them swapping solos.
‘The Calling’, whose opening verse reminds me of Sammy Hagar’s ‘Only One Way To Rock’ is another with a massive hook-laden chorus.
I would thoroughly recommend this album including to some of the people who may previously have given the yellow and black attack the widest berth. ****
Review by Andy Nathan
Throughout September 2018 Get Ready to ROCK! Radio celebrated the station’s 10th anniversary and a two-hour special reflected a decade of broadcasting. “10 years in the making” features archive interviews with Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Todd Rundgren, Graham Bonnet, David Coverdale, John Wetton and Bob Catley.
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Power Plays w/c 12 November 2018
STEPHEN PEARCY U Only Live Twice Frontiers)
NORTHWARD Timebomb (Nuclear Blast)
MASON HILL Hold On (indie)
RAINLIGHT Field Of Souls (indie)
EDEN’S CURSE Forever (AFM Records)
Featured Albums w/c 12 November (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 TEN Illuminati (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 NORDIC UNION Second Coming (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 LARKIN POE Venom & Faith (Proper Music)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
18:00-19:00 MAGGIE REILLY Heaven Sent (2013)
Tweets by Get Ready to ROCK!