October the 16th sees the release of Stryper's new cd Fallen which is out on Frontiers Records Srl and the follow up to 2013's No More Hell To Pay.
In fact with the Live At The Whiskey live album out in 2014 and Robert Sweet's solo cd and his project with George Lynch out in January 2015 this a very productive time for any Stryper fan.
No More Hell To Pay was a very strong return to form for the band and Fallen takes it up a notch further with a production that focusses on the heaviness of the riffs and pounding rhythm section of Robert Sweet on drums and Tim Gaines on bass but takes nothing away from the melodic choruses and twin guitar attack of Michael Sweet and Oz Fox.
I was lucky enough to see Stryper live on their one off UK show way back in 1987 and if I am honest I don't do religion and with Stryper there are obviously a lot of religious stories in their music but I take it purely on a musical level and this cd kicks some serious ass and that is all that matters to me.
Yahweh is 6 minute plus statement of intent which starts with a gothic choir like vocal part before a big guitar riff splits it apart before pounding drums and Michael's Sweet's operatic scream commence a big riff pile driver of a song.The chorus has more choir like backing and after the second chorus the musical interlude is something special.Both guitarist's take their turn soloing over each other's huge riff with and in my opinion a very Iron Maiden feel and you can't say better than that.
The title track is up next with a slight decrease in pace with another great guitar riff at it's core.As the chorus starts the pace goes up a notch with Michael again belting out the words with real venom over some huge backing vocals before a melodic guitar solo seals the deal.
Pride showcases the production with a taut riff entwined with the rhythm team's groove laden work really drives the song along on a song that is bound to be a live favourite with the twin guitar melodic soloing a great contrast to the main riff.
Big Screen Lies is a real stomper of a track with a repetitive guitar melody that builds to a chorus in true Stryper mode with Michael at his most melodic and those trademark backing vocals!!After another dual guitar solo the song drops to Michael half talking the chorus before the whole band crash back in and it sounds even more powerful because of the light and shade used.
Heaven is a slow to mid tempo number with a great melodic guitar break mid song which sits perfectly alongside the following Love You Like I Do which is prime time early Stryper with lashings of melodic backing vocals even during the verse.Huge melodic chorus and a superb guitar solo that tells it's own story not just fast fingered flash!!
All Over Again is the album's ballad with Michael showing of his quality lower register and plenty of backing vocals and another perfectly matched guitar solo on a song that will get the lighters lighting up the arena when played live!!
After Forever sees the band dropping in their customary cover this being the Black Sabbath classic.I am sure plenty will be surprised at Stryper covering this song but when you listen to Geezer Butler's lyrics it is a good fit and the band do it justice with a fine groove laden performance and superb guitar soloing too.
Till I Get What I Need again sees the band upping the pace on a song that doesn't let up in either the vocal or huge guitar riff and Robert's drum barrage and loving the extra guitar soloing and melody.
Let There Be Light is a slower more groove laden track which explodes into a huge joyous chorus with Michael at his best and perfect backing vocals.Love the way the guitar solo starts out of the main riff as a melody line before bursting into life and a another great switch between the 2 guitar leads.
The Calling is a commercial hard rocker with a chugging riff before King Of Kings ends the album in style.Good to go out with a bang and with it's jabbing guitar riff and big chorus with trademark backing vocals this is perfect.The guitar team who are as impressive as I have heard from anyone this year again end in style with more melodic soloing and are the perfect match.
Fallen sees Stryper right back at the top of their game with an album that is as good or better than anything they have produced in their now over 30 year career now just get the Yellow and Black Attack back to the UK stages as it has been way too long.