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On disc: Stryper



Murder By Pride - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
Murder By Pride - Umberto Mino - 7 stars
Second Coming - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
No More Hell To Pay - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars


www.stryper.com







No More Hell To Pay

No More Hell To Pay
(Frontiers Records - 2013)


Stryper are back with a new album called No More Hell To Pay, and this was recorded by the original line-up! Oz Fox and the Sweet brothers convinced Tim Gaines to join them and so the expectations are high. Let's see, if Stryper can deliver.

They kick off with the heavy Revelation, somehow it's like this should have been presented after To Hell With The Devil... The title track No More Hell To Pay is another riff-based rocker which doesn't sound backdated, even if it has the 80's sound.





They speed up for Saved By Love, a melodic metal tune with varying vocals - from sweet to powerful screams. The big vocal parts are back in the game with Jesus Is Just Alright, a song The Byrds and Doobie Brothers played and which they cover in a metalize version and add with some Stryper-ish choirs. I'm not sure, if the Doobie Brothers or The Byrds will appreciate this version... Time for something slow... The One, a power ballad. Just to bring back heavy riffs and some aggressive vocal parts, believe it or not, Stryper partly sound a bit Priest-ish at Legacy. Closer to their 80's stuff is Sticks And Stones which get ennobled by a great lead guitar part. They close this chapter with Renewed, another song where they manage to bring past and present together in a song.

To be honest I didn't expect Stryper to go heavier, more metal as in the past they were more poppy glam metal. But they got more mature. They still a Christian band, but I don't mind. No More Hell To Pay is fun!


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Second Coming

Second Coming
(Frontiers Records - 2013)


Stryper started their career 30 years ago and in the 80's they delivered a few Christian hard rock gems. Sure, not everybody fell in love with their Christian lyrics, but they did it their way - they stick to their believe. Now the foursome is presenting Second Coming, a compilation with 14 Stryper classics (newly recorded) and 2 brand new tracks. The newly recorded classics sound heavier and the songs aren't too polished which might make it easier to fall for them... They kick off with the rocker Loud N' Clear, but it's hymns like Soldiers Under Command which will bring back memories. Sure, for some this kind of music is old-fashioned, but lovers of 80's hard rock might give it another try... And for fans of the quartet it's interesting to hear the new versions and the new songs! The first new track is called Bleeding From The Inside and even if it's a quite melodic track, the guitar riffs are heavy and it has a modern edge. The closer is Blackened, the other new track. Another heavy rocker with big backings and sharp riffs. It shows that Stryper stick to their sound, but they are heavier now and can add something new to their sound. Personally I'm looking forward to hear more new tracks from Stryper!


Track listing:

Loud N' Clear
Loving You
Soldiers Under Command
Makes Me Wanna Sing
First Love
The Rock That Makes Me Roll
Reach Out
Surrender
To Hell With The Devil
Calling On You
Free
The Way
Sing Along Song
More Than A Man
Bleeding From The Inside Out (new track)
Blackened (new track)




9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Murder By Pride

Murder By Pride
(Frontiers - 2009)


The yellow and black attack is back!!! The Sweet brothers started in the early 80's and got quite successful with Stryper. They disbanded the band 1992, but returned in 2005 with Reborn. Since then they just released The Roxx Regime Demos - and now return with Murder By Pride.

Quite heavy riffs Stryper kick off Eclipse For The Son, the opening track of Murder By Pride. The American Christian rockers took their time to write the songs and record the album. A mid-tempo rocker with a catchy refrain is 4 Leaf Clover, followed by Piece Of Mind, a Boston classic! Due to Michael Sweet's cooperation with Boston it's no surprise that Boston guitarist Tom Scholz plays here. Great tune which sound very Sweet - very cool! With piano and vocals they lead you onto Alive, a balladesque tune. They get a bit heavier when the band joins in, but it still has a balladesque touch. A very emotional track with string arrangement - all to support Michael Sweet's vocals. A power ballad. Heavy riffs open up The Plan, a quite typical Stryper tune... A combination of heavy riffs, great vocals and a catchy hook. At the title track they also use backings like they did in the past, but they don't overdo it. One of my favorites is Run In You, a balladesque tune which becomes an emotional rocker. A heavy stomping rocker is My Love (I'll Always Show) which is the closer on the American version, but Europe gets a bonus track called My Love, My Life, My Flame. Piano opens up and soon singer Michael Sweet joins in for this emotional ballad. The song gets a slightly symphonic touch through the string arrangement. A piano-based ballad which get ennobled by Sweet's vocals!

To check out Murder By Pride listen to the title track, The Plan, Mercy Over Blame and Run In You. You'll recognize it's Stryper, they manage to stick to their roots and sound modern. They aren't taking you back to the 80's, but there is some 80's sound in their music.


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 








Murder By Pride

Murder By Pride
(Frontiers - 2009)


Okayyyyy guys... The yellow and black attack is back!!! And this time for real!!!!

I consider this new CD by Christian hard rockers Stryper to bring them real back on track!!!! This time these guys have reach their goal!!!! Murder By Pride contains all the typical Stryper elements: melody, hard rock, ballads, choirs. But now better analyze this CD: Eclipse Of The Son start this album in THE classic Stryper-style and the following song 4 Leaf Clover tell's us that the first track is not a bluff!!!! Nice beginning!!!!! Peace Of Mind see the guest performance of Boston's Tom Scholz and of course it's very near at the AOR gods! Alive is the usual ballad, The Plan is another track with a nice guitar work and a nice Sweet performance on the mic!! Next one is the title track, a nice one, I Believe is the second ballad, Run In You and Love Is Why aren't exactly the best songs on this CD. And with Mercy Over Blame Stryper beat hard!!!!!! Everything is another nice track and the final song My Love (I'll Always Show) closes this CD in a beautiful way!!!

Again we can say our prayers with pride, Stryper are back for real!!!!!!


7 stars

Umberto Mino
 

           ©2008-2015 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com


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