Stryper has been on an incredible run since reforming in 2003. This is especially true of the band’s last three studio albums: No More Hell To Pay (2013), Fallen (2015) and God Damn Evil (2018). The latter two albums are arguably the band’s best. Part of the success of the recent albums lies in the band’s ability to walk an extremely fine line. That line lies between recapturing the sound of the 1980’s while simultaneously embracing modern metal sounds. The band has successfully injected the spirit of 1980’s metal into a twenty first century musical mold.
The twenty first century has seen many aging rockers continuing to create new music and rock the live arena. Some bands are content to live on as oldies acts, catering to nostalgia. Other bands, like Stryper, continue to create and promote new music. During the tour to promote their last album the band shook up their set list by including songs from their recent albums.
News of the upcoming release of Stryper’s newest album is an exciting announcement. The album is entitled Even The Devil Believes and it is scheduled to be released in September of this year. This will be the first time that fans have an opportunity to hear the newest band member, bassist Perry Richardson, on a Stryper album. The band just released the first single from the album, entitled Blood From Above, and it does not disappoint. The song should appeal immediately to die hard Stryper fans. The song captures a 1980’s vibe without sounding retro. The Stryper trademarks are present throughout the song:
- Michael Sweet’s powerful vocals and melodic screams
- The distinct sound and crunch of the band’s rhythm guitars
- The nimble fingered guitar leads of Sweet and Oz Fox
- Solid, steady drumming from the band’s visual time keeper Robert Sweet
- A big, anthem like vocal chorus
Perry Richardson has proven to be a great fit for Stryper. Richardson toured for the band’s previous album. His presence brought a new vitality to the band on stage. I am sure that many fans are curious to see what he will bring to the band in the recording studio. Throughout Blood From Above he holds down the song’s bottom end like a trooper. Richardson brings a different sound and approach as compared to the band’s former bassist Tim Gaines. I would highly recommend listening to Blood From Above through high quality headphones or speakers. Listening to the song through computer speakers or a smart phone will not tell the whole story.
The lead single from Stryper’s previous album, God Damn Evil, caused quite a stir. The song Take It To The Cross was a radical departure for the band. The musical direction of the song was a huge risk, but I feel that the risk paid off. Bands will not grow if they are unwilling to take risks. Blood From Above does not break any new ground for Stryper and that is fine. With this song Stryper has given long time fans what many have come to expect from the band. The song successfully evokes the spirit of 1980’s metal. That said, the new album promises so much more. The teasers for the rest of the new album promise the expected and the unexpected from the band. Stryper has shown that they are not afraid of taking risks with their music. Even The Devil Believes looks to be another winning album for Stryper.