Stryper / God Damn Evil

God Damn Evil

Stryper is an American Christian metal band from Orange County, California. The group’s lineup consists of Michael Sweet(lead vocals, guitar), Oz Fox (guitar), Perry Richardson (bass guitar), and Robert Sweet (drums).

Formed in 1983 as Roxx Regime, the band soon changed their musical message to reflect their Christian beliefs, and the band’s name was also changed to Stryper. They went on to become the first overtly Christian heavy metal band to gain acceptance in the mainstream. In 1983, they signed with major label Enigma Records and released their debut album The Yellow and Black Attack. In the mid-1980s, Stryper enjoyed their most successful period beginning with the release of To Hell with the Devil, which achieved platinum sales status. Stryper went on to release two more gold albums before disbanding in 1992. In 2003, Stryper came out of retirement for a reunion tour and subsequently signed a multi-album contract with Big3 Records in 2005. In 2013 they signed a multi-album deal with Frontiers Records, and have released Second Coming, which includes 14 re-recorded songs from their first three albums and an album, No More Hell to Pay, released on November 5, 2013, and Fallen on October 16, 2015

God Damn Evil is the seventeenth release and twelfth studio album by Christian metal band Stryper, produced by frontman Michael Sweet and released in April 11, 2018.

The Analysis—-

Take It To The Cross—-If you have followed this somewhat iconic band at all, you pretty much no what to expect. I guess my initial and enduring attraction to this band was not necessarily the message…but the voice and the talent of the band. I love how tight they play….and it has not changed in all of these years. The message is the same…but so is the voice and the energy…..very nostalgic…..amazing how well Sweet’s voice has held up. I don’t really care for this chorus…but the multi vocal track is nice.

Sorry—-Fairly sdate at the onset, it seems like production turned down the volume on the whole damn thing. Sweet comes out of the dark with a nice strong and soaring vocal. The chorus is damn addictive… sucks you in whether you buy into the message or not. I like the slight blues tinge as well…this is nice.

Lost—-To be honest with you….this reminds me of something that would have fir on Styx Paradise Theater record…the vocal is overly operatic and Broadway tinged. The music is sedate and predictable. Sweet does really scream sometimes…which really pleases me. But this all seems very contrived and theatrical.

God Damn Evil—-A return to a bluesier sound and some incredible vocals, this is like being transported back to 1984. The message remains strong….but the delivery makes it worth listening to over and over again. This is directly sent to our current times and turmoil. I rather like this song…..the delivery is key!

You Don’t Even Know Me—-Classic 80’s riffs open this track….and some fantastic drums! The music reminds me of classic Queensryche at times…..the vocal is a bit off for me at times though. I love the energy of the chorus….this saves the song from becoming obscure.

The Valley—-Fantastic drums and short sharp guitar bursts kick off the track. Sweet enters and sounds so fresh and young with his vocal….you catch every word and the chorus sucks you in. The soaring quality of his voice is remarkable….I love how effortless his vocal sounds. The marching instrumentation makes the song feel huge.

Sea Of Thieves—-At this point of the release, the album begins to suffer from a very same-like quality….everything blends from the previous song…making it seem like a long drawn out operetta. There needs a ballad here or there…or some variety.

Beautiful—-Offering a bit of differential musical delivery, the drums are just stellar here. The guitars are in perfect unison. The vocal sounds a bit to theatrical….but it is passable. Will I listen to this release on a regular basis….no….not even once in a while…I prefer the classic releases.

Can’t Live Without Your Love—-Finally we get a bit of diversity….the song is delivered nicely…..but nothing stands out as fantastic. The chorus IS huge….but it is replayed and over done. I wish there was a little bit more variety.

Own Up—-Nothing new here……at this point it all seems like one long song…..when boredom sets in so quickly that is not a good sign. This sounds like I backed up 6 songs and am going through the same thing again.

The Devil Doesn’t Live Here—-A bit more power Metal to end the release, the message returns. The music is faster and more varied…..the drums are huge. The voice soars and the song has a nice catchy element to it. I like this.

** out of 5

Steelheart / Through Worlds Of Stardust

Through Worlds of Stardust

Steelheart is a rock band based in NorwalkConnecticutUnited States, formed in 1990.

The Analysis—-

Stream Line Savings—-With very little introduction to the song, you are greeted y that powerful, unmistakable shriek that has defined this band. The song has a slight dirty blues edge to it….a bit sludgy in the background. Not a favorite of mine…the instruments sound a bit muted…but that voice…damn. Has not aged a bit.

My Dirty Girl—-Much more powerful musically, that scream opens up the song accompanied by a chug-chug guitar that again leans a bit towards a bluesy feel. The sing a long chorus is classic Hair Metal in feel. The chorus is huge and addictive…full of power chords…great drums and all the elements that defined this genre. Fantastic.

Come Inside—-Really nice introduction to the song…the ass line is huge on this track. The vocal is again ‘dirty’ and full of a wanton southern rock feel. Then the bridge enters and transforms the song into a Modern Rock classic track. The lyrics are full of double entendres….and that fantastic bass line leads the entire track. A classic stripper song…lol.

My Word—-This song carries a much more Modern Rock feel to it rather than the throwback sound the band is known for. The chorus and bridge are huge…the chorus is easy to pick up n. The power chords and the marching bass line give it that current sound that helps to keep the band relevant. This is a nice surprise.

You Got Me Twisted—-With a nice gentle introduction, this is the classic pre-requisite ballad that every band needed on a release at the beginning of the band. I wish the vocal soared a bit more…but he seems comfortable in a vocal range that is not going to continue to tax his voice in a live setting. this is nice…catchy and well constructed.

Lips Of Rain—-Another gentle ballad style track that is almost acoustic in feel…..the piano is extraordinary. The layers of feelings…between the instrumentation and the vocal make for a huge emotional song. This is a beautiful track…even though it lacks that powerful soaring vocal. As the track reaches a climax….the vocal becomes stronger.

With Love We Live Again—-Falling into a it of a rut with all of the ballad inspired tracks stacked together in a row, the song placement certainly could have been better constructed. This gentle rolling track has a atmospheric sound to it that is endearing and full of quality but it is lost in deluge of love typed inspired songs. Not a throw away…but too full of consistency.

Got Me ‘Runnin—-Nice to have a bit of a more upbeat track after three ballads in a row!  This track again has a more Modern Rock feel…until the chorus kicks in…then you are transported back to the glory days of the band. The chorus is catchy and built around audience participation. I like this a of my favorites on this release…the feel is a nice mix of classic and an updated feel that fits the current climate.

My Freedom—-Returning….ONCE AGAIN! to ballad territory, I really don’t care for this track….just wishing that huge feel was more present than just on the chorus. The chorus…does contain an epic feel to it..thanks to the soaring guitars…but this falls short for me. Although we do get a classic shriek!!!

I’m So In Love With You—-Ending the release with perhaps the weakest track on the CD, this leaves me empty and uninspired. The stripped down feel of the song does not allow the band to shine…it all seems to be about the vocal…which is emotional…but a bit flat for me.

*** out of 5