Released by: Big 3 Records
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Genre: Metal/Hard Rock
Michael Sweet: Lead Vocals / Guitar
Robert Sweet: Drums
Oz Fox: Guitar / Vocals
Timothy Gaines: Bass/Vocals
01. SWEET – “Set Me Free”
02. SCORPIONS – “Blackout”
03. BLACK SABBATH – “Heaven and Hell”
04. UFO – “Lights Out”
05. KANSAS – “Carry On Wayward Son”
06. DEEP PURPLE – “Highway Star”
07. KISS – “Shout It Out Loud”
08. OZZY OSBOURNE – “Over The Mountain”
09. IRON MAIDEN – “The Trooper”
10. JUDAS PRIEST – “Breaking The Law”
11. VAN HALEN – “On Fire”
12. LED ZEPPELIN – “Immigrant Song”
Ahh every body’s favorite Christian Rockers have returned with not really new material, but something more….different. The guys of Stryper have released a album of fine cover tunes inspired by the 70’s and 80’s. For those of you old enough to remember the band, you’ll recall they had considerable success in the Christian Rock arena and even some might say they have been able to breed the genres of rock and christian music together and make it work. The debut of the band “Soldiers Under Command” and “To Hell With The Devil” we’re big strong points for the band in the early 80’s. After 1988 the band took a long break and vocalist and main man Michael Sweet pursued a solo career and even landing spot on with Boston. Finally after some time, a rebirth came for the band and they released “Reborn” which was well received amongst loyal fans.
After “Murder by Pride” was released in 2009 many fans accepted the band’s rightful place in rock once more. Now me personally and I have to be honest, never really cared too much for the religious lyrics but always showed respect to the band because they’re music was great and you have to give them credit for trying to tackle a subject that is not always the most easy to swallow down peoples tiny brains. And even though you’ll always have the fans that don’t care much about mentioning metal and christian in the same sentence, but when it’s all about the music and you know what they say……when it’s good it’s good.
The band in a breath of fresh air, decided to filter out some rocking cover tunes that really have nothing to do with their relgious views…..and I quite like it. Despite the nature of these songs being different from they usually do, Sweet remains adamant about the band’s view and has stated many times that their religious views will always be the same. But on this cover album you get a different side of the band that shows the more “rocking” influence tunes that shaped their sound over the years. Nothing wrong with that right?
With songs like the cover of the Scorpions “Blackout” for instance, Michael Sweet does Klaus Meine some justice hitting those pesky high notes as the charismatic chorus comes around. Heaven and Hell is well represented with an all time chant tribute to the Holy Diver himself; great cover tune here by the guys. Yeah I know what you’re thinking, but wait why would a christian band be covering this song? Because the song kicks ass and so does Stryper. Enough for ya? Good I give them a horns up or down whichever you prefer on the classic UFO cut “Lights Out” featuring a thundering rhythm and bass section. All engines churning and burning in the Purple classic joint of “Highway Star” again proving that the Strypes can hammer down some killer grooves on a classic rock staple.
So why check out a cover album I mean there’s tons of other out there right? Well this is the first for a band like Stryper, who has previously stuck to a particular formula in the past. How about just for the hell of being a Hard Rock and Metal fan? I mean you have some great tunes that most of us know by heart, and perform relentlessly good with Stryper’s own flavor. The last track “God” is a new tune that perhaps give some insight into upcoming new material from the band? Regardless of your reason, a very well made cover record with a bunch of killer remakes that any rocker can respect.
Written by Denys
Ratings Denys 7/10