By: Tom Metcalf
First of all, as a long time Stryper Fan I was really anticipating on hearing this album. Not only do I get to hear the Old songs re-recorded with a modern touch of technology, but I also get 2 NEW songs! So, was I disappointed? Absolutely NOT!
Stryper delivered on this album and in a BIG way! Myself, being a drummer at heart, Robert Sweet was my drumming Idol growing up and I always listen to the drum parts more than anything in a song. The re- recordings have truly brought the small things from the drum kit alive. I can actually hear his high hat tapping away in songs unlike I have ever heard before int he previous releases. Okay, enough of my obsession with drums and onto the songs.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to all of the old hits from the past albums. One exception being, “Reach Out”. They lowered the key on this song and I was not happy with it, but, maybe that’s the Stryper-purist in me talking. Anyways, the updated vocals and dueling guitars on the past hits is remarkably redone and it has brought all of the songs alive again……Except….. “Reach Out”. Yeah, I still can’t get over it.
If “Blackened” is any indication as to what’s to come, then they are well on their way to making an equally great album!
I was also disappointed that none of the songs from “Against the Law” were added. I know this is the time when Benson refused to sell this album in Christian Music stores because of ‘this & that’, but hey, there are some awesome songs on that album like “Rock the Hell out Of You”, which is one of my favorite Stryper songs.
Having said that, I think the band made up for it by releasing the 2 new songs “Bleeding from Inside Out” and “Blackened”. The first song, “Bleeding…..” is a pretty good song. It definitely shows that Stryper is getting back to their roots but also with a little ‘Murder by Pride’ flavor mixed in. But stop the press! “Blackened” (their second new track) is a soon to be favorite amongst all Stryper fans. This song is simply Great! The harmonies, guitars, and drums are all reminiscent of ‘To Hell With The Devil’ era. From recent interviews I have read their next full-length album is supposed to get back to that sound that brought them World-Wide recognition and success. If “Blackened” is any indication as to what’s to come, then they are well on their way to making an equally great album!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Reviewed by: Tom Metcalf
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