Released by: Frontiers Records
Release Date: September 19th, 2014
Genre: Heavy Metal
Michael Sweet: Lead vocals, guitar
Oz Fox: Vocals, guitars
Tim Gaines: Bass, vocals
Robert Sweet: drums
As a person who has been an atheist as long as I have, I have no problems admitting that I am an insane fan of the band Stryper. So much a fan that even after going long periods of time without listening to their older albums, within seconds of hitting play on them I can sing right along with almost every track. Though I am not into their message, there is no denying the fact that Stryper have written some exceptional music over their many years together. Their earlier albums are where I hold my allegiance, yet the albums they have done since reforming have been amazing. Since their return they have released easily their heaviest material to date.
Chronicling their astonishing career as the ultimate Christian hard rock/metal band is the upcoming Live At the Whisky album that’s tracklist spans the almost the entirety of their catalog. Though lead singer Michael Sweet doesn’t have the same range he did, he still has such an incredible instrument. Unlike some singers, he has been able to easily adapt his range to the older songs to give them a fresher edge and making them heavier even, in some respects. Stryper are a band that catch flack for being light and schmaltzy, but personally I always appreciated their more rocking tunes, especially songs like “Loud & Clear, “To Hell With the Devil,” “Soldiers Under Command,” and my personal favorite “More Than A Man,” all of which are featured on this album. Also included are newer gems like “No More Hell To Pay,” “Legacy,” and their outstanding cover of the Doobie Brothers classic “Jesus Is Just Alright.” As is expected, though
they left off anything from Against the Law, and despite the album loaded more with the older songs, it still gives a good representation of what they are all about: playing kick ass music and celebrating their love of God.
I have told people for a long time now, if you are avoiding Stryper strictly based on the religious message they put out, you are doing yourself a major disservice. I can understand not liking a band based on musical taste, but to totally avoid them because they are Christian and promote their religion I don’t agree with (though it is a free world and you can choose to do that if you like.) This atheist certainly loves their music and just tunes out the message. It’s the same way I enjoy bands that sing about other topics that I may not agree with (religious, political, and otherwise.) I don’t have to subscribe to their belief system in order to appreciate the amazing body of work. I’m sure the band members would prefer if their fanbase all believed the same thing that they do, but the fact that their music has touched someone outside of their faith I’m sure satisfies them just as well. This is a great live album and makes me want to see them even more than I already did.
Written by Chris Martin