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Stryper - To Hell with the Devil (1991) Retail CD
For those who don't know, Stryper were the biggest overtly Christian band of the '80's rock/hair metal scene by a long way.This was their first big success - having caused a stir with an EP of demos that later became a full album (dodgy production), and a proper album (better produced, better vocals), the band tightened up, improved their songwriting considerably, and put out "To Hell..." to a stunned audience. many were outraged that these "so-called Christians" could dress like a glam band, wear make-up, look so "pretty" and claim to be saved.But they were.And if you strip away the image andmore… look at the lyrics of their songs, they invariably carry a strong message.The drummer is excellent, and can do all the tricks in the book. The lead guitarist is very talented, and likes his fast runs.The bass is inaudible, but in this kind of band that was the norm in those days. (shame, he's not bad - even if not the chap pictured with the band; controversy, falling out, etc...), the vocalist is similar to Vince Neil of Motley Crue, but a couple of significant differences: he's better, he uses his diaphragm like you're supposed to, and his vocal range is phenomenal (high A - guitars don't go that high!!!).This is a heavy band, the guitars are LOUD and DISTORTED - not as heavy as Metallica, but heavier than, say, the Crue. But there is a strong melodic element to the proceeding, which makes the songs kinder to the ear, and gives you a decent tune to listen to.After an atmospheric, if perhaps unnecessary intro, the title track kicks off - an excellent mid-tempo rocker, with a great chorus, and a nice complex guitar break. Calling on you is a cheerful rocker, good guitar riff and multilayered chorus harmonies that are somewhere between Def Leppard and Queen (one of Stryper's signature sounds).I'm not so keen on Free, the chorus is a little bland, but it's OK.Honestly was (I think) their MTV break, a ballad dripping with sweetness and emotion, just right for an '80's audience.The Way is a fast and furious number, great vocals, and great guitar.I won't review all the songs, it might get boring to read. Suffice to say, apart from Free, I think this is one of the best hair metal releases of the era, regardless of faith etc, and whether you're religious or not, if you like that genre of music you could do a lot worse than these boys.
|1||Abyss (To Hell with the Devil)|
|2||To Hell with the Devil|
|3||Calling on You|
|9||Rockin' the World|
|10||All of Me|
|11||More Than a Man|
- Stryper - To Hell with the Devil (1991) Retail CD
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- 27/12/12 by ssvril
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