Album Review: Stryper - No More Hell to Pay
Review by Joseph Timmons: Xombiewoof Magazine
July 21, 1984 Stryper released their first album The Yellow and Black Attack, to a mixed response in the music industry and music fans across America if not the world. There were some that felt they we truly talented and deserved the recognition and respect, as well as the right to perform the stage. With a music industry that was pumping out long hair metal bands every other day, Stryper was lost in the mix, even with a truly impressive following and much adulation; they seemed to slip out of the spotlight and our minds.
That Was Then, This is Now!
With the upcoming release of No More Hell to Pay is proof that faith in a higher power and in one’s self is necessary to creating sublime music that is captivating and exhilarating. No More Hell to Pay is Stryper’s eighth original studio album, a well composed and highly energetic follow up to Second Coming, released last March. Produced by Stryper front man & guitarist Michael Sweet himself, this album features some of Stryper’s strongest and heaviest material ever. Sweet commented on the album: “The new Stryper album, No More Hell To Pay, is the record we needed to make as a follow up to To Hell With The Devil. Every song has a hooky guitar riff. Everything is in minor keys, so it's a little darker sounding and a little tougher. It's definitely our heaviest record and I think people will be pleasantly surprised. To reference, there is less songs like “Calling On You” and more songs like To Hell With The Devil. It's more in that vein than the poppier vein." Stryper has come a long way since their humble beginnings, they have matured and embraced a wisdom that few are privy to, and their enlightened outlook and philosophy on music is profound.
Gather the Faithful
In a music genre that entices followers with dark visions and decadence, Stryper has not had it easy. A talented group that has meaningful messages and wants to reach into the soul is often lost among the golden calves of the rock and roll lifestyle. Stryper appeals to those that find their message of devotion and redemption in the eyes of the Lord a path to follow, and to those that love great music. In true form of fighting against the darkness of obscurity, Stryper has succeeded in creating a hard edge, entertaining and emotionally driven album, the lyrical content is harmonious and mesmerizing. Michael Sweet’s vocal range is phenomenal and charismatic. Expected to be among the most well received hard rock albums of the year, to say it is “Christian Metal” would be to sell it short, the music of Stryper can be enjoyed by all and I think detractors would be hard pressed to find fault in No More Hell to Pay.
The Story is Told, the Truth Revealed
Stryper is attributed as one of the top Christian rock bands of all time. Comprised of the original line-up of Michael Sweet (vocals/guitar), Oz Fox (guitar), Tim Gaines (bass), and Robert Sweet (drums), Stryper has been rocking since 1984, and is responsible for such '80s metal classic albums as SOLDIERS UNDER COMMAND, TO HELL WITH THE DEVIL, IN GOD WE TRUST and such MTV hit singles/videos as "Calling on You," "Free," and "Honestly." After a sabbatical for much of the 1990's, Stryper returned strong in the early 21st century. To date, the band has sold upwards of 8 million records worldwide and is a Dove Award-winner and Grammy nominee. Stryper is the first band to have two songs in MTV’s Top 10 simultaneously.
The track listing on No More Hell to Pay is packed with powerful vocals, blazing chords and rock steady rhythms. Song titles are Revelation, No More Hell To Pay, Saved By Love, Jesus Is Just Alright, The One, Legacy, Marching Into Battle, Te Amo, Sticks & Stones, Water Into Wine, Sympathy, and Renewed. Every song is glorious praise to the one Stryper tributes with their talents and praises with every note. Simply put, No More Hell to Pay is the Stryper album we have been waiting for, and we are witness to it.
Go to http://www.stryper.com to get info on the band, the release of No More Hell to Pay as well their other albums, news and tour dates. You can Follow Stryper on all the social media sites, on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Stryper and YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/stryperofficial .