Album Reviews

Stryper – Second Coming Review


Released by: Frontiers Records

Release Date: March 26th, 2013

Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal



Line Up:

Michael Sweet: Lead Vocals / Guitar

Robert Sweet: Drums

Oz Fox: Guitar / Vocals

Timothy Gaines: Bass/Vocals



01. Loud N’ Clear

02. Loving You

03. Soldiers Under Command

04. Makes Me Wanna Sing

05. First Love

06. The Rock That Makes Me Roll

07. Reach Out

08. Surrender

09. To Hell With The Devil

10. Calling On You

11. Free

12. The Way

13. Sing Along Song

14. More Than A Man

15. Bleeding From Inside Out (new track)

16. Blackened (new track)


Let me get one thing straight–for the most part I HATE this recent trend of bands going back and re-recording their classic tunes. I know all the reasons given–members that weren’t there back then, fixing things they missed when it went out…but let’s be honest–it all seems to boil down to MONEY. Either bands have moved on from the label they made their classics on, or they’re on the losing end of a fight over royalties or digital rights(case in point-Def Leppard). And in most cases, what we the fans get are songs that may have the best of modern tech in the production but lack the passion that made the originals what we love(best example: the disc of self-covers KISS threw in with Sonic Boom).

That being said, there’s something different afoot with Christian metal pioneers Stryper. Early last year they treated us to a CD of covers of the bands that were their musical influences that wound up getting rave reviews across the board. Now they debut on melodic rock giant Frontiers records with Second Coming, which gives us an overview of most all their early classics and…’s pretty darn good.

As a fan since the very beginning, it’s amazing that they haven’t lost a thing in their performance. And yes, Michael Sweet can still hit those high notes that left everyone amazed back in the day. From start to finish the energy is just as fresh as back in the day. Now, granted, there is no way they’re going to equal the raw, screaming passion of their self-released debut, but “Loud and Clear” and “Loving You” are, like the rest of the cd, are tight and aggressive. The majority of the disc draws from “Soldiers Under Command,” their Enigma Records debut. Here is where the covers do indeed surpass the originals, as that first generation of digitally mastered albums did lack a little in the volume department. The vocal harmonies that defined them are even stronger on “Soldiers..” and “Reach Out,” and “Surrender” is still their all-out power track. And to my amazement, they manage to de-schmaltz their first ballad “First Love.”

Equal attention to given to “To Hell With The Devil,” which was mostly recorded without Tim Gaines’ bass work. Aside from that I don’t know if these 6 redux tracks were needed-sure, the bottom end of this cd is excellent, if not almost overpowering, but this album’s biggest problem wasn’t production, but the fact that the songs were a little too much of a carbon-copy of the preceding album All you gotta do is listen to “Reach Out,” then “Sing-Along Song”–I say again, was this really necessary? And both “In God We Trust” and “Against The Law” are completely absent here. Wouldn’t haven’t have minded a less-cheesy “Honestly,” or a beefed up “Shining Star.” Oh, well…

We do get a pair of new songs to round out the collection. “Bleeding From The Inside Out,” already moving fast up the ITunes charts, is a good mid-tempo mix of old and new, while “Blackened”is a speed-fest that wouldn’t be out of place on “Soldiers..”

It’s not as if they’re going to lean on this album for an excuse for a year’s worth of shows–the band is already back in the studio hard at work on a new album of original tunes for a early summer release. So while I would have like to get those originals now, this is a great opportunity for new fans to jump on board and see what all the talk of this boys in yellow and black is all about without having to dig thru ebay, etc. And it just whets the appetite for what’s coming next!



Written by Anton

Ratings    Anton    7/10


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