STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 136455-20252 LABEL: Frontiers FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Paul S Ganney
Ah, Stryper. in the '80s you couldn't miss them. They blazed a trail for Christian glam metal across the globe and did it very, very well. Then they called it a day whilst still at the top of their game. Reformed groups go one of two ways: great or dire. You're either really grateful they've come back or really embarrassed that you ever liked them. This CD features 16 tracks: 14 re-recordings of old classics plus two new songs. They're possibly more energetic and more powerful than before (major plus) while Michael Sweet can still hit the high notes. In fact the last stratospheric note on "Soldiers Under Command" is hugely impressive. Without looking over padded shoulders too much, is this any good? Oh yes. Oh very yes. If this was a new CD from a new band they'd be so hyped you could build an army of stack heels out of it and still have enough left over to build a couple of careers on. The guitar work is excellent (both rhythm and lead), the drumming tight, the bass driving, the vocals reach out and grab you and the choruses are big and anthemic. They also know how to pace an album, slipping the gentler "First Love" in after pummelling you for four songs (if there's any major criticism of this CD, then it's that it could have done with a bit more pacing like this). But what of the two new tracks? They fit in very well on the CD (and could have been contained within it rather than being left for the end). "Blackened" is possibly the better of the two, but they're both good. If you were into Stryper in the '80s then you owe it to yourself to check out 'Second Coming'.
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