The wait is over! Stryper’s eighth studio album No More Hell To Pay is finally here. Good things come to those who wait, and No More Hell To Pay pays the listener massive dividends. This album delivers Stryper’s strongest and heaviest material since their 1988 classic album, In God We Trust. Big Vocals, bigger riffs and great songs, No More Hell To Pay has it all!
The album starts off with the heavy song “Revelation”. This song is classic Stryper all the way, and a fantastic lead off song for No More Hell To Pay.
The guitar tone for “No More Hell to Pay” takes me back to the Stryper classic “To Hell With The Devil”. This is a killer cut, and if you wondered if Michael Sweet lost any range in his voice, the answer is a most definite “no”! (Check it out in the video below).
Michael Sweet pushes his voice to new limits on the heavy rocker,”Saved By Love”. You have to hear this song to believe it. This is one amazing tune, and my new favorite from Stryper. I hope to hear them do this song live.
Stryper tears the roof off with their smokin’ cover of the Doobie Brothers hit, “Jesus is Just Alright”. This is easily one of the best cover songs I have heard in a long time. Stryper gave this song a great, heavy face lift, and it really works well.
“The One” does a good job changing the tempo on the album, and delivers a song that could get airplay, if DJ’s out there had a soul.
“The Legacy” is another face melting rocker that demands several replays just to register what you just heard. This is easily one of the heaviest Stryper songs to date.
“Marching Into Battle” sounds like it came out of the early 80’s and that is a great thing. This is one of those deep cuts that may not be hit material, but fans will appreciate this nonetheless. Michael Sweet again pushes his screams to the max on this tune.
I immediately hit replay after hearing “Te Amo” the first time. This is another tremendous rocker that is a feast for the ears. This song ought to be another big sing along tune for Stryper’s live set.
“Renewed” closes out No More Hell to Pay with another amazing rocker, and a song that is easily as good as the first.
Major kudos to Michael Sweet, Oz Fox, Robert Sweet and Tim Gaines. The yellow and black attack have released one of the best albums of their career. Michael Sweet’s voice has never been stronger, and the guitar work on this album is fantastic.
Clearly, No More Hell to Pay is an album that Stryper made for the fans, and it delivers all the way through. If you have ever listened or have been a fan of Stryper in the past, you are going to LOVE this album. If you do one thing this Tuesday, you should download the album from iTunes, or if you are old school like me, run (don’t walk) to your nearest music store and pick this CD up asap. You won’t be disappointed. No More Hell To Pay is one of the best albums of 2013. Get it now!! Highly recommended!!
02. No More Hell To Pay
03. Saved By Love
04. Jesus is Just Alright
05. The One
06. The Legacy
07. Marching Into Battle
08. Te Amo
09. Sticks & Stones
10. Water Into Wine
Michael Sweet – Lead Vocals / Lead Guitar
Robert Sweet – Drums and Visual Timekeeping
Timothy Gaines – Bass / Vocals
Oz Fox – Lead Guitar / Vocals
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 This is the bible verse from which Stryper takes it name. And Stryper brought their healing power in the form of awesome rock n’ roll to the BMI Karts Indoor Speedway in Versailles, Ohio last Saturday (9/28/13).
It was far too long since I have seen Stryper perform live, and I was quite to excited to see the band perform once again. The last time I saw Stryper was at the 2012 M3 Rock Festival. They were excellent then, and even better this time around.
Aside from some minor struggles with the band’s monitors, Stryper forged on and never sounded better. Stryper’s set was a heavy one. Their set list included the songs “To Hell With The Devil”, “Soliders Under Command”, “The Rock That Makes Me Roll”, “Calling On You”, “The Way”, “Free”, “Loud N’ Clear”, “Heaven & Hell” & “Shout It Out Loud”. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t do “In God We Trust”, or “Honestly”, and I was really hoping to hear some songs off of their up and coming CD, No More Hell To Pay.
It was a short intimate set from Stryper, in a very unique and cool venue. I was quite glad that a made the trip to see the band play, and hope they return for another show after the new album has been released.
Stryper’s new album, The Covering is finally here! This album has been heavily hyped for close to a year now, and finally has received a proper release. Typically, cover albums are not really my cup of tea. In the case of Stryper, I have been a huge fan of the band since the ’80’s. I was definitely willing to give this CD a shot.
The Covering shows Stryper paying homage to all of the bands who influenced their career. Stryper didn’t try to reinvent the wheel when doing these songs. They did the songs in their traditional forms. The major difference on the Stryper version of these songs, are the awesome guitar tones of Oz Fox, and the excellent vocal harmonies of Michael Sweet. They did a terrific job with the songs, and The Covering shines as a result. Did Stryper pick the best songs to cover from the artists who inspired them? Probably not. There are better songs from Van Halen, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne and Iron Maiden that Stryper could have covered. With that being said, the versions of the songs on The Covering, are handled with such grace, that I can find much fault with this CD at all.
I found it ironic that one of the choices on the CD was Black Sabbath’s “Heaven & Hell”. I was pleasantly surprised how good the Stryper version is. Michael Sweet has always been an incredible singer, and his vocals just blow me away on this song. It is awesome! One of my other favorites is the cover of UFO’s “Lights Out”. This version is so good, even Eddie Trunk will love it! Van Halen’s “On Fire” requires a lot of screaming, and Michael Sweet nails it perfectly on this one too!
To close out the album, there is a great new studio track “God” that has me clamoring to hear more new Stryper material. Hopefully 2012 will bring us another new Stryper disc. Until then, I will definitely be rocking out to The Covering. If you are a fan of Stryper, you gotta get this CD!! You won’t be disappointed!
For more information on Stryper, check them on the web at Stryper.com, or on Facebook at this link. If you have been having trouble finding a copy of The Covering in your local stores (as did I), you can purchase it here! You can check out previews of the songs below!
1. Set Me Free (Sweet)
2. Blackout (Scorpions)
3. Heaven and Hell (Black Sabbath)
4. Lights Out (UFO)
5. Carry on Wayward Son (Kansas)
6. Highway Star (Deep Purple)
7. Shout it Out Loud (Kiss)
8. Over the Mountain (Ozzy Osbourne)
9. The Trooper (Iron Maiden)
10. Breaking the Law (Judas Priest)
11. On Fire (Van Halen)
12. Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin)
13. God (new studio track)
Michael Sweet – Vocals
Robert Sweet – Guitars
Oz Fox – Drums
Timothy Gaines – Bass