I’ve probably said this before, but Stryper were one of those bands that I never got into during the 80’s or early 90’s. Whether that was because I couldn’t see past the “Christian Rock” thing, I can’t say for sure, but probably. I certainly don’t remember going out of my way to check out their albums. However, over the past few years I’ve developed a growing appreciation not only of the recent Stryper albums, but Michael Sweet’s solo work and his collaborations with George Lynch. The latest Stryper album, “God Damn Evil”, was released on 20th April by Frontiers Music. I’ve featured the singles “Take It To The Cross”, “Sorry” and “Lost” on the Friday NI Rocks on 23rd February, 16th March and 13th April respectively.


Stryper achieved huge success between 1983 and 1992 as the first Christian metal band to get acceptance within the rock mainstream. The band released five albums during that period, with the first four selling in huge numbers. “Against The Law” in 1990 had seen a change in image, content and sound and didn’t sell as well.


Since reforming in 1999 the band have released another seven albums, the first of which was “Reborn” in 2005. “Murder By Pride” was released in 2009 shortly after the death of Michael Sweet’s wife from cancer. “The Covering” in 2011 featured 12 cover versions and one new track, whilst their first album with Frontiers – “Second Coming” in 2013 – featured re-recordings of 14 classic songs and two new tracks. That was followed by “No More Hell To Pay” in 2013 and “Fallen” in 2015.


The latest album “God Damn Evil” is the first to feature new bass player Perry Richardson in place of long time member Tim Gaines. The rest of the line-up is the classic 80’s membership of Michael Sweet on lead vocals and guitar, Robert Sweet on drums and Oz Fox on guitar.

There are 11 great tracks on the album, the first three of which were all released by Frontiers ahead of the launch. This is one of those albums where picking favourite tracks is quite difficult, but at a push I’d go for tracks 2 through to 6 – “Sorry”, “Lost”, “God Damn Evil”, “You Don’t Even Know” and “The Valley”.


Check out the band’s website at http://www.stryper.com/


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About “NI Rocks Recommends”

The simple idea behind “NI Rocks Recommends” is to acknowledge and promote some of the great music being submitted to Rock Radio NI. The albums that I’ll be recommending are those that you’ll hear me playing tracks from on my shows. I'll not be giving marks or ratings or analyzing the tracks in great detail; just telling you something about the artist and the album. It’s a personal recommendation to go check something out, not a traditional “review”!

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