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Stryper – God Damn Evil

Label: Frontiers
Format: Download
Released: 2018
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 9/10


Stryper are one of the few 80s glam/hard rock metal (I refuse to use the stigma “hair metal”) bands who still make new music that is metal, and lives up to its past. Unfortunately, many of their peers lost their edge. Following in the footsteps of the previous two albums (“No More Hell To Pay” and “Fallen”), “God Damn Evil” completes an excellent trilogy which retains all their components from the 80s albums. Founding members Michael (vocals,guitar) and brother Robert (drums) Sweet with guitarist Oz Fox bring the heavy riffs, twin guitar melodies, pounding drums, and layered vocal harmonies. The one change this album: original bassist Tim Gains is replaced by Perry Richardson (ex-Firehouse), but he didn’t play on the album.

 

‘Take It To The Cross’ is a heavy opener, traditional Stryper fair and the splashes of death growls by Matt Bachand (Act Of Defiance) with Michael’s (insanely) highs works very well and not overdone. Building drums on ‘Sorry’ kick in to a mid pace romp but Robert lays down a busier delivery for ‘Lost’, a short guitar lead, Michael hitting another high vocal in the chorus, with twin harmonies in the solo. Title track is back to a straight ahead slower punch but too similar to ‘Water Into Wine’ from 2013’s “No More Hell To Pay” .’You Don’t Even Know’ starts with a much more traditional riffage, switches back to a rhythmic verse and chorus. So, tracks two through five Stryper are trying new ideas within doing what they do. ‘The Valley’ is again that mid pace with Robert taking center stage (and does often throughout the album) mixing up drums patterns, while ‘Sea Of Thieves’ is upbeat using a nontraditional Stryper-type retro 80s first riff, complete with those big backing vocals for the chorus. Closer ‘The Devil Doesn’t Live Here’ is a forceful headbanger and kicks up the tempo.
Out of eleven songs (one ballad), this is Stryper, yet forward thinking a bit in riffs and arrangement. Yes, like I said what makes their sound is present, but rearranged, updated, for their latest painting to praise God and the heavens.

 
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