Thursday, October 29, 2015

Album Review- Stryper: Fallen

"You were cast down to the ground, 
exposed before the kings 
Deceiver of the world, you know 
you'll always be the great pretender"

Stryper was one of the first bands I ever saw in concert back in the 80s. They were also influences on my both musically and vocally. Michael Sweet and Oz Fox make up one of the most under rated guitar duos, and the vocal harmony has always been stellar. I liked every album they released a lot, with my favorite being Soldiers Under Command, least favorite being In God We Trust and Murder By Pride. That being said, their previous album, No More Hell To Pay was the best Stryper album since Against The Law. Could they do it again and top NMHTP? Read on. We'll find out.

Right off the bat, Fallen is easily the heaviest Stryper album. It also features some of the most intense vocals by Michael Sweet, for example, in the title track. He still has a completely intact vocal range, but he has gotten intense with rasp in the high notes as well. Its intentional. The guitar here is crunchy, and groove oriented. I can't really compare this to any other albums because it really doesn't sound like any other Stryper album. When the band released Yahweh as a single, I remember thinking that was the best song since Soldiers Under Command. The song Heaven does have the classic Stryper vibe to it, and its kind of a slow jam. Love You Like I Do has a very bold 80's metal feel to it, with its big harmony vocal chorus and build up guitar solo. Its good. All Over Again is a ballad that ranks up with their best. It has a powerful chorus with backup vocal harmony under the lead vocals, and a harmony guitar solo as well.

There is one cover tune on this album. Its After Forever by Black Sabbath. As usual, Stryper does great covers, and this one would make Sabbath proud. The rhythm section of Robert Sweet and Tim Gaines are thunder on this one.

Till I Get What I Need is a very upbeat tune that rocks. Guitar licks throughout the song, blazing guitar solos. You get what you need with this song...Well, the whole album for that matter. On Let There Be Light, alternate title could be Let There Be Metal. Because there is metal, and I saw and heard that it was good. Same with The Calling, and King of Kings. Its all there.

The lyrical content on Fallen is among the most powerful they have done. Obviously, the title track is about Lucifer's expulsion from Heaven. They also have some very choice words for Hollywood in Big Screen Lies. Since I'm no fan of actors and their pretentious attitudes, I enjoyed that one a lot.

You've got to love how they portray Christianity
Just a freak another fool for the world to see
Twisting and distorting all, making money too
Mocking every thing that's said, they don't have a clue - no!

Stryper is not afraid to speak their minds. I've seen more powerful and bold lyrics from them than from other christian bands that are not mainstream, and play shows at churches. Its amazing, especially because Stryper doesn't even consider themselves a Christian band.

So, I had asked the question, could Stryper top NMHTP? The answer is YES. This album is the best Stryper album since To Hell With The Devil. It also fits well with all the other great albums that have been released this year by bands like Iron Maiden, Queensryche, The Winery Dogs, etc. Great job, guys...I'm going to wear this one out.

Its available wherever you buy CDs. Amazon, ITUNES, Best Buy, etc. Get it. Get it now. Fallen is an amazing work of art. 

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