Label: Frontiers 2020
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
From the Holy catch phrase machine that brought us "To Hell With The Devil", "No More Hell To Pay" and "God Damn Evil". Here's the latest Stryper effort where "Even The Devil Believes" and we see the prophecies, but that won't bring us to our knees. Indeed. Renowned for its distinctive brand of heavenly metal and for tossing bibles at the head's of their audience, studio album #13 burst of creativity and the almighty one might just see this as one of their finest moments yet? The almighty reviewer that is your truly of course, not to be confused with the big apple pie in the sky.
According to Michael Sweet, “This album was recorded during the pandemic and I believe the message pertains to the times we are living in so perfectly. It’s a recording of hope and inspiration and a light in the darkest of times.” In various places, the extreme situation add extra bite to songs that may otherwise have passed you by. However, tunes like "Make Love Great Again" and "Let Him In" are sort of disappointing and especially after the impressive opener of "Blood From Above". The lift your hands and praise anthem of "Do Unto Others" is however superb and the message is spot on considering the world today and all the haters. No Christian could ever be right-wing? Surely not? Have they been reading the bible? Every single thing Jesus did was left-wing and that's including the very reason they nailed him to the cross. You know, throwing out the money grabbing bastards from the temple. Jesus Christ - the original Socialist!!!
The title track is a little fire cracker and "How To Fly" is fine songwriting and melodic inventiveness of highest order. All praise to the hey-hey chants of "Divider". The ballad of "This I Pray" is just a tad too lame and typical glam vs. country and second rate Poison somehow? The Lord's Pray' included and it's already been done to death. The bottomline: Stryper make another homerun for 'team muscular, pop-tingled metal, with soaring vocals and a stormwind of biting guitar, while packing a heavenly armoury of songs'. Now, if only I coud find my yellow and black striped pants...