STRYPER Says To Hell With The Devil In NJ

May 22, 2018, 3 months ago

Rich Catino

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On May 9th, Stryper made a stop at the famous Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ, during their God Damn Evil tour. Brothers Michael (guitar, vocals) and Robert Sweet on drums, with long time original guitarist Oz Fox, are now joined by Perry Richardson (ex-Firehouse) on bass. Over the course of twenty songs they played four from the latest album God Damn Evil; “The Valley”, “Sorry”, ballad “Can’t Live Without Your Love”, and the title track. This move showing new music is as important as the past, and that Stryper refuse to be a nostalgia act. Also, scattered throughout the set were a few others from more recent albums Fallen – headbanging opener “Yahweh”, and “Big Screen Lies”, and “Revelation” off No More Hell To Pay. Again, keeping themselves relevant in the present. 

As performers Stryper have not lost a step, look and sound great, and keep it heavy! With six played off the album To Hell With The Devil shows how successful that album still is; MTV hit singles “Calling on You”, “Free”, and ballad “Honestly”. The title track to Soldiers Under Command is one of a few where Michael and Oz trade off talents as lead and harmonizing shredders. And while Michael put the album Against The Law at the bottom of the pile (for the change in lyrical direction) in their catalogue ranking I’m glad to see they always play a couple from it live; “All For One” and “Lady” this round. Prior to the hit “Always There For You”, Sweet joked about how high he was singing on the recording of the album In God We Trust, now played in a lower key, but Perry, as does Oz, backs him up and does well with the harmonies.  

If you still have reservations about Stryper’s music because of the message, or because you think it’s not cool to come from the glam metal genre… well then you are just being close minded and missing out on another great heavy metal band.

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