|Published on April 21th, 2018 | by Anthony Martinez|
Release date: April 21, 2018
Format: CD, Vinil, Digital
Label: Frontiers Records
1. Take It to the Cross (4:55)
2. Sorry (3:55)
3. Lost (3:43)
4. God Damn Evil (4:05)
5. You Don't Even Know Me (4:10)
6. The Valley (4:14)
7. Sea of Thieves (3:40)
8. Beautiful (4:01)
9. Can't Live Without Your Love (4:44)
10. Own Up (3:43)
11. The Devil Doesn't Live Here (3:25)
I'll start by saying that I'm proud of Stryper, I think about all those hair metal bands from the 80s, and after 30 years very few still continue to make high quality music, satisfying their old fans, and getting new fans with their latest albums. Come to my mind Bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Europe, and of course, Stryper, the only Christian band from the 80s (Sorry, is an established label) that continues to have a high profile in the world of metal music.
I remember an interview in the 80s where Robert Sweet said that they could be making as much money as Kiss if they didn't talk about God in their lyrics and concerts, I'm glad they did.
That said, I can now say that this is one of Stryper's most interesting albums, I couldn't say if it's really the best, but I think it has songs with the old Stryper sound, and others sound like the new Stryper, even some songs sound similar to the style that Michael presents in his first solo albums. So it will be one of the most loved albums by all his fans.
But if that wasn't enough, Stryper showed in his first song, "Take it to the Cross" a powerful sound that is set between the Heavy and Thrash Metal border, I can't deny that I was very impressed when this song was released on February 8th with his lyrical video, I was stunned.
"Sorry" was released on March 12th along with a new videoclip of the band, I have come to think that they are dedicating this song to someone very close to them, but I prefer not to delve deeper into that as I could be wrong. Anyway, it's a great song, but I think it should have been placed in the middle of the album, considering the intensity of the previous song.
"Lost", released on April 9th, has been one of the songs I have enjoyed most this year, it has the new sound of the band in "No more Hell to pay" and "Fallen", I love the backing vocals that the rest of the band makes, Michael's vocal range is still impressive, one of the best songs on this album, although too short to be so good.
I have arrived at the song that gives the title to the album "God Damm Evil", a title that has been highly questioned even by many of the band's fans. Michael Sweet explains: “Stryper has always been about making people think outside the box. Our new album title God Damn Evil is a statement that's needed in our society. We've seen evil rise to new levels and this title is simply a prayer request asking God to damn or condemn all the evil around us.
Walmart has decided not to have the band's new album in their stores due to the controversial title of the album. "Many chains have joined us in making such a statement. Walmart unfortunately has not. The odd thing is of all the chains out there we assumed Walmart would be one to understand exactly what our point and purpose is. Unfortunately not. Although we respect their decision and what's done is done, it's frustrating to see something that's meant for good get misinterpreted and misunderstood.” said michael.
I personally understand Michael's point, however, I think all that controversy could have been avoided, one reader of our site said: "A simple comma in the album title could have avoided some of the controversy. God, Damn Evil." But as Michael would say, what's done is done.
But all that aside, the lyrics of this song are very interesting, and its style reminds me of the "Agains the Law" era.
When I listen to "You Don't Even Know Me", it reminds me a lot of Michael Sweet's "Truth" album, I feel like he has more of Michael Sweet's solo style than Stryper's.
The day before this album was released, the song and video "The Valley" was released.
The song gathers in its lyrics part of the psalm 23:
I walk through the valley
Of the shadow of death
I fear no evil
I walk through the valley
Of the shadow of death
I fear no evil, no evil, no!
I also want to say that the video is one of the best that the band has ever had, the combination of cold and warm tones, the fast changes of scene, create an interesting atmosphere that fits perfectly with the song.
"Sea of Thieves" has some pretty catchy backing vocals that remind me of songs like "Calling on You", or "Always There for You", this song is what some people like Michael call "Pop Metal".
The intensity of the album decreases when you get to track 8 "Beautiful" is a really beautiful song, yes it is. That's all I have to say about this song.
We arrive at the ballad "Can't Live Without Your Love", one of the most beautiful songs on this album, this takes me back to the 80s, a power ballad accompanied by keyboards that we haven't heard in a Stryper song for a long time. It honestly doesn't remind me of any other Stryper songs in the past, but of songs like "Running All My Life" by The Brave, or even "Hysteria" by Deff Leppard.
"Own Up" brings back the intensity that had disappeared on the two previous songs, this song could have been on the album "Agains The Law", although it also reminds me of the time of Reborn.
"The Devil Doesn't Live Here" is a wonderful song, intense, fast, epic, with a pretty powerful lyric. If you're a big Stryper fan, it's sure to remind you of the In God We Trust era, specifically the song "The Reign". On the other hand it reminds me of the style of bands like Guns and Roses, Bride, and even the song Black Snake by Bloodgood.
No more memories, it's amazing how after so many years Michael continues to reach such high notes as he does in this song.
What else can I say? This album gathers all the sounds and elements that have characterized Stryper's music in the past and present, without a doubt this will be one of the most precious records by all Stryper fans around the world.
It should be noted that Perry Richardson did not play bass on Stryper's new album due to scheduling constraints. The bass tracks on "God Damn Evil" were laid down by John O'Boyle, who played bass on Sweet's last two solo albums.
The cover of the album is very similar to that of his two previous albums, but this last one shows the figure of God in the midst of humanity who suffers from his wrath due to evil. This has been criticized by some who question the fact that a representation of God is made. It is a subject that can be debated and generate all kinds of opinions and points of view. However, you should not judge a book by its cover, you should first go inside it and know what all its pages contain.
Connect with Stryper:
Get God Damm Evil: