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CD review STRYPER "God Damn Evil"

Veröffentlicht am 18. April 2018 von Markus W. in Stryper, Hardrock, Heavy Metal, Frontiers Music, CD Review, News, Rock

CD review STRYPER "God Damn Evil"

(7/10) Since Orange Court, CA based Stryper inked a deal with Frontiers Records the quartet gains speed when it comes to new music. The newest output, entitled “God Damn Evil”, is on its way and is supposed to hit the shelves on April 20th.

Eleven songs in total showcases an experienced band, built on ¾ of the original line-up. The only newcomer on board is bassist Perry Richardson who joined in 2017.

If you expect real magic of “God Damn Evil” I must disappoint you and even though the album might not put a spell on you it still features enough interesting moments. 

The first one is the opener entitled “Take It to the Cross”. Stryper put a surprisingly heavy track at the top of the batting order. What starts with some mystic sounds, a bit too long if you ask me, evolves to a real metal track with a chorus that I didn’t expect to be like this. High pitches screams of Michael Sweet go together with some growls, added by Matt Bachand (known from bands like Act Of Defiance). Furthermore it’s the sing-a-long ‘ahahah’ part hat reminds of Accept, making the opener to a first highlight on the album. First runner on base I would say.

Let’s jump from beginning to end, since “The Devil Doesn’t Live Here” is a walk-off homerun and belongs to the winners too. Fast and heavy rolling the tune proves the dynamic that’s still part of Stryper's sound.

These two songs frame nine more tracks of which some are goodies too while songs like “Sea of Thieves” and “Lost” aren’t’ more than standard rock songs. Also the ballad “Can’t Live Without Your Love” doesn’t knock you out of the socks. It’s a solid one though but nothing you haven’t heard before in a similar fashion.

Thank God there are tunes like the gloomy rocking “You Don’t Even Know” and the powering titles track that help the album in providing a positive expression.

“God Damn Evil” is a good rock and metal album that’s build on experience. It comes with some well-done metal songs that include furious guitars and great vocals, standing in the tradition of 80’s melodic metal that’s translated into the here and now. “God Damn Evil” for sure doesn’t cause earache, but it also doesn’t bring you to a state of euphoria. It’s a solid release. Not more, but also not less.

(7/10)

Tracklist:

  1. Take It to the Cross
  2. Sorry
  3. Lost
  4. God Damn Evil
  5. You Don't Even Know Me
  6. The Valley
  7. Sea of Thieves
  8. Beautiful
  9. Can't Live Without Your Love
  10. Own Up
  11. The Devil Doesn't Live Here

 

Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: April 20st, 2018

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CD review MICHAEL SWEET "One Sided War"

Veröffentlicht am 22. August 2016 von Markus W. in Michael Sweet, Stryper, Hardrock, Melodic Metal, Melodic Rock, News, CD, Joel Hoekstra

(8/10) OK, Michael Sweet is the frontman of Stryper and I think that almost each metal fan has his/her own opinion about the yellow/black fanatics with the special image. I must admit that I wasn't the biggest fan of the band even though I still appreciate listening to songs like "Soldiers Under Command" once in a while.

However, Stryper frontman Michael Sweet seems to be quite active these days. After having had a good album with Stryper ("Fallen") the singer also did a collaboration project with guitar wizard George Lynch, an album that sounded pretty good too.

Now it's time for a solo release called "One Sided War", a longplayer that surprised me since it's a really entertaining one. It's not a secret at all that Sweet is a pretty good singer and the fact that he teamed-up with Whitesnake guitarist Joel Hoekstra made the twelve songs on the album even better. Ethan Brosh is also contributing to the album as well as Evanescence drummer Will Hunt, who is, together with John O'Boyle responsible for the rhythm section.

"Bizarre" is the furious opener that comes with wild guitars and damn good vocals. The title track is next, the pace becomes more moderate, the energy level stays high -  that's how I could summarize this tune.

"Radio" is a midpace groover that starts with a western-like acoustic guitar before the drums join in and add heaviness to this half-ballad. "Only You" has great vocal lines that makes the tune to a joyful one and we have to wait till "Who I Am" to get the first ballad served on the sliver CD plate. But also here Sweet doesn't add too much cliche to this rock song. It's a soulful one but not a cheesy one.

I like the album a lot and I could imagine that fans of the earlier Dokken will go through the same pleasureable moments. "One Sided War" is well done melodic metal/hardrock of passionate musicians having fun with what they are doing.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Bizarre
  2. One Sided War
  3. Can't Take This Life
  4. Radio
  5. Golden Age
  6. Only You
  7. I Am
  8. Who Am I
  9. You Make Me Wanna
  10. Comfort Zone
  11. One Way Up
  12. Can't Take This Life (*bonus track* featuring Moriah Formica)

 

Label: Ratpak Records

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: August 26th, 2016

CD review MICHAEL SWEET "One Sided War"
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CD review STRYPER "Fallen"

Veröffentlicht am 11. Oktober 2015 von Markus W. in Stryper, Hardrock, Heavy Metal, News, Melodic Metal, CD Review, Power Metal, US Metal

(8/10) Stryper, ex-bible throwers from the 80's, had a pretty good comeback in 2005 and released since then a few good metal records. It almost seems that the guys started more to focus on music than on image and religion. "Reborn" came with some quite good songs and "No more hell to pay" had even more of those. Only the live album "Live at the Whiskey" wasn't the best idea, since the sound was a real downer.

However, 2015 is the year of the next studio release and the heaviness suprised me quite a lot. I was listening to "Fallen" a few times till now and I have to admit that the disc became better each time I pressed the 'play'-button.

Stryper still loves big melodies, but they combine it on "Fallen" with hard rocking guitar riffs that makes the album to a real headbanger.

The choir in the beginning might lull you into a sense of security but the first riff pushes you of your dreams and "Yahweh" becomes a pounding rocker that reminds to the old Dokken. I think it's one of the best Stryper songs. "Heaven" and esp. "Love You Like I do" are two more good examples for the melodic metal expression on the new album. Positioned somewhere between Scorpions and Dokken, the numbers are very convincing and entertaining.

The heavy approach continues till the last track on the album. "King of Kings" is the last metallic stamper with a melodic chorus.

There is one track that was to expect but not really needed. "All Over Again" has a bit too much of a 'Poison-sweet' ballad and isn't really rocket-science. Fortunately the cool grooving "After Forever" follows; a track that, even though also sounding a bit like Poison, makes you forget the ballad.

I have the feeling that Stryper became far better since they focus on metal and threw the whole 'bible thing' overboard. The four-piece still sticks to their Christian beliefs, but it's the music that does the talking on "Fallen". Stryper had some good songs in the 80's but the density of well-crafted tracks nowadays is far higher than it was in the yellow/black days 30 years ago. 

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Yahweh
  2. Fallen
  3. Pride
  4. Big Screen Lies
  5. Heaven
  6. Love You Like I Do"
  7. All Over Agaian
  8. After Forever
  9. Till I Get What I Need
  10. Let There Be Light
  11. The Calling
  12. King of Kings

 

Label: Frontiers Records

Genre: Melodic Metal

Release Date EU: October 16th, 2015

 

CD review STRYPER "Fallen"
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CD review DIMINO "Old habits die hard"

Veröffentlicht am 2. Juli 2015 von Markus W. in DiMino Angel, Hardrock, Rock, Classic Rock, News, CD Review, Kiss, Stryper, Twisted Sister

(7/10) After I have heard the first single form "Old habits die hard" I wasn't really thrilled. But OK, that was one song and the album might convinces more. And yes, it does. After having listened a few times to the longplayer I must say that I really like what DiMino recorded for "Old habits die hard". Maybe it was the long days and the sunny weather that supported this positive impression, but it was for sure not the only reason.

The longplayer comes with eleven songs which are positioned somewhere between melodic metal and traditional hardrock. Frank DiMino, that some of you might know from Angel, a band discovered by Kiss' Gene Simmons, is the mainman and name giver for the group. Next to the singer a few genre heroes have joined in. Guys like Oz Fox (Stryper), Rickey Medlocke (Blackfoot) and former Angel band mates (Punkey Meadows (g) and Barry Brandt (b)) have guest appearances on the album. 

Tracks you should check out are the grooving "I can't stop loving you (is it only me that thinks that DiMino sounds a bit like Biff Byford?).

Also the ballad "Even now" belongs to the good songs on "Old habits die hard". It's not rocket science stuff but it does a good job during a convertable car ride into the sunset.

The counterpart is the fast and furious "Mad as hell". The tune has some classic rock roots and is a real headbanger. The same goes for "The quest".

On the other hand there is "Sweet sensation", the above mentioned first single, which I don't think is that very well made. A bit too trivial. But that's the only small downer.

"Old habits die hard" is a rocking album that has some metalic moments too. It is good time music that fits perfect into the current summer period. Give it a try. 

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Never again
  2. Rockin in the city
  3. I can't stop loving you
  4. The rain's about to fall
  5. Even now
  6. Tears will fall
  7. Mad as hell
  8. Sweet senation
  9. Tonight's the night
  10. The quest
  11. Stones by the river

 

Label: Frontiers Records

Genre: Melodic Metal

Release date EU: July 3rd, 2015

CD review DIMINO "Old habits die hard"
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CD review SWEET & LYNCH "Only to rise"

Veröffentlicht am 22. Januar 2015 von Markus W. in Sweet & Lynch, Lynch Mob, Stryper, Dokken, Hardrock, Melodic Metal, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) When guitar maniac George Lynch and Stryper singer Michael Sweet team-up the result can't be really a bad one. This thought gets even stronger knowing that the to guys could convince James Lomenzo (b) and Brian Tichy (d) to join as well.

As with Level 10, the cooperation was based on an idea from Frontiers CEO Serafino Perugino. And as with Level 10 also the result of Sweet & Lynch sounds pretty good. The 12 songs on the album are mainly written by Goerge Lynch in cooperation with Michael Sweet and can be described as 70's and 80's influenced hardrock tunes.

The album starts with "The wish" quite powerful. It is build on a cool riff from Lynch and the clear vocals of Sweet gives the song immediatley an identity. I must say that guitar and vocals go together very well on the entire album.

"Love stays" is of a lower pace and profits more from an emotional intesity. A song where the rhythm section can shine is "Rescue me". It begins with a strong punch by Tichy and grooves very hard. Even thought the verse is kept more relaxed the pounding drums are pushing the song on and on.

"Me without you" is the ballad on the album which is done very well, by avoiding cliches and enriched by a great solo of Lynch. It has a touch of Foreigner by the way.

Time to speed up again. The dirty rocker "Recover" is the right song to shake you up and Sweet goes even into the falcetto in the chorus. 

A song that can't live up to the quality of the others is "Divine". It sounds a bit breathless and sounds more trivial. Also Lynch guitar can't really safe this track.

Fortunately "September" brings the album back on track again. It's a smooth rocker that reminds with its guitar sound to Iron Maiden "Wasted years".  

A highlight, and I think the best song on the album, is coming in the end. It is the title track "Only to rise" that is fast and to the point. It's a real bouncer with great melody lines and an even better guitar riff. It feels that the band enjoys playing this song by using all the given freedom.

I was suprised that George Lynch found time for such an album, since he's also involved in KXM and released a Lynch Mob album too. However, Sweet & Lynch really seem to appreciate their cooperation since next to the album the band plans to do some rehearsals and book a tour too. So far it's the album "Only to rise" which you should listen to and let's see if tour plans will become real.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The wish
  2. Dying rose
  3. Love stays
  4. Time will tell
  5. Rescue me
  6. Me without you
  7. Recover
  8. Divine
  9. September
  10. Strength in numbers
  11. Hero-zero
  12. Only to rise

 

Label: Frontiers Records

Genre: Hardrock

 

CD review SWEET & LYNCH "Only to rise"
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1st new song from SWEET&LYNCH

Veröffentlicht am 2. Dezember 2014 von Markus W. in Sweet & Lynch, Hardcore, Rock, News, Stryper

Here comes the first video from Sweet & Lynch. Behind these names there is nobody else than Michael Sweet from Stryper and George Lynch. Both teamed up and worked on an album thst will be released in the beginning of 2015. The first revealed song is called "The wish" and is a great appetizer for more

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CD review STRYPER "Live at the Whiskey"

Veröffentlicht am 17. September 2014 von Markus W. in Stryper, Hardrock, Rock, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(5/10) That Stryper got famous for throwing bibles during their shows is already an anectode from ysterday. But when I heard the latest live album of the band I had the feeling that the band was still throwing the bibles and hit by coinsident their sound engineer. This is for me the only reason for the bad sound of the live album "Live at the Whiskey". The record got really a grotty sound that is a bit of a better bootleg quality. Eventhough it gets a bit better along the way (or did I get used to it?) it is the big downer on this album.

I don't know if the band wanted to be as authentic as possible or if there are other reasons for this. The pity is even bigger looking on the setlist which covers the highlights of the yellow/black dressed guys pretty well. Stryper classics like "To hell with the devil" and "Soldiers under command' have been part of the show as well as newer material such as "Jesus is just alright" from the latest album "No more hell to pay".

I think that Stryper missed a great opportunity for releasing an excellent live album. I also wonder why the label released such an album since normally the productions of Frontiers Records bands have a really high standard. "Live at the Whiskey" is a disappointment for me and I hope that the next album reflects what the four guys sing in one of their songs - be "Loud and clear".

 

(5/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Legacy
  2. Marching into battle
  3. You know what to do
  4. Loud and clear
  5. Reach out
  6. Calling on you
  7. Free
  8. More than a man
  9. The rock that makes me roll
  10. No more hell tp pay
  11. Jesus is just alright
  12. Always there for you
  13. All for one
  14. The way
  15. To hell with the devil
  16. Soldiers under command

 

Label: Frontiers Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

CD review STRYPER "Live at the Whiskey"
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TESLA, STRYPER and NIGHT RANGER are headliners at Frontiers Rock Festival in May

Veröffentlicht am 5. Februar 2014 von Markus W. in Tesla, Night Ranger, Stryper, Hardrock, News, Tour

The 'who is who' of melodic rock/metal in one festival. Yes, that will happen this year during the Frontiers Rock Festival in Trezzo (Milan) beginning of May. Details see link below.

TESLA, STRYPER and NIGHT RANGER are headliners at Frontiers Rock Festival in May
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CD review STRYPER " No more hell to pay"

Veröffentlicht am 12. Oktober 2013 von Markus W. in Stryper, Hardrock, CD Review

(7/10) It's time again for yellow and black. Bible thrower Stryper are back with a new album. The disc is called "No more hell to pay" and will be released mid November. It will be their eights album in the band history.

Styper delivers on this album what we could expect. They have recorded 12 hardrock songs for the album which are a bit more catchy than on "Murder by pride". When I listened to the new CD I was more reminded to Dokken in their "Under lock and key" area. The production is in my point of view much more powerful than on "Murder with pride" and gives the album the drive which is need.

The title track "No more hell to pay" is one of my favorites on the record. It has a good verse, a melodic bridge and a catchy chorus. "Jesus is just alright" made me smile. What a name for a song and what lyrics. This is almost to be seen as ironic. But the music is actually not bad. But it's hard to listen to Stryper's mission. Anyhow, that's how they are. With "The one" the album has also a quite melodic ballad. Since it not too much drifting into cliche an epos, the song is a nice break in the middle of the album. Directly after the ballad they placed the faster "Legacy" on the track list. A wise decision, I think. Another good track is "Sympathy" with a very catchy hookline in the chorus. Easy for a sing along with the crowd during live shows.

But there are also a few fillers on the album like e.g. "Marching into battle" or "Sticks and stones".

All in all the best Stryper album since "To hell with the devil". If you avoid listening to the lyrics too much in detail, the album is actually quite entertaining. And better than the latest releases from e.g. Don Dokken. But create your own opinion.

(7/10)

Tracklist:

  1. Revelation
  2. No more hell to pay
  3. Saved by love
  4. Jesus is just alright
  5. The one
  6. Legancy
  7. Marching into battle
  8. Te amo
  9. Sticks & stones
  10. Water into wine
  11. Sympathy
  12. Renewed

Label: Frontier Records

Genre: Hardrock

CD review STRYPER " No more hell to pay"
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