Friday, October 9, 2015
Label: Frontiers 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
Holy Sweet... Michael and Robert? It clearly reads Stryper on the disc, but it's like if they've been on steroids for the last couple of years (Jesus Juice?). Everything is harder, heavier, and dare I say better? than in a very long time. Don't get me wrong. I'm the massive fan of To Hell With The Devil (it's still their best effort in my humble opinion) and all of the Mickey Mouse harmonies of the past. I treasure the yellow and black attack and In God We Trust had its fun moments. But this is overall a much more together effort metal-wise, vocal-wise, and let's face it, Michael simply can't reach those insanely high notes any longer.
The excellent trademark harmonies are still there, just not crazy over-the-top or across the universe. The sound is harking back to the first mini-album only with a galloping beat. Airtight solos collide with a muscular groove and it's more towards the sound of classic heavy metal than ever before. It's never blunt or boring though and "Love You Like I Do" will most certainly remind you of Always There For You. It's just not (as) hysterical over-the-top or sugar sweet. Oz Fox beats the crap out of his six-string and the catchy refrain fits perfectly in with the sound. They seem to be enjoying themselves in the studio.
Sevendust member Chris Lowery co-wrote lead single, "Yahweh" and it's basically heavy in a good way and structure. For the rest of the album, you'll be headbanging as well as singing-a-long to the melodies at the same time. You'll be on your knees, shouting along to the words of 'King Of Kings' no matter if you're a believer or not. And yes, there's a ballad amongst the tracks (All Over Again) as well as the Black Sabbath cover (After Forever). The downers, the drums are not nearly as fat as wished for and the same goes for the bass sound. But it's overall a blessed eighties metal stack of the yellow and black attack. The f-i-n-e album effort without any major downers whatsoever.