Stryper – Second Coming

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Stryper – Second Coming
Frontiers Records – 2013

This band’s music has never sounded more relevant than it does now with their new album Second Coming.  30 Years have done nothing to diminish the power of Stryper’s message.  It doesn’t matter if you are Christian, Mormon, Jewish or Hindu, Stryper makes it “Loud N’ Clear” what they are all about from their first rocking track.  Michael Sweet and Oz Fox provide the twin guitar attack, which starts from the first note.  The end harmony is just plain wicked.

Stryper is able to take their devotion to God the Father and represent it with power and passion.  “Loving You” has lyrics that any human being can appreciate.  Michael Sweet’s voice reaches exhilarating heights and the two guitar assault is potent.

There is no way any perspective hard rocker or metal fan can’t join forces with the band after listening to “Soldiers Under Command.”  The dynamic guitar solo between Sweet and Fox is awesomely expressive.  Robert Sweet’s drums pound like an armored tank in battle, while Timothy Gaines bass holds it all together.

I’ve got to say the producing job Michael Sweet does on this album is stunningly masterful.  The recording level of each instrument, the performance of every band member stands out in tracks like “Makes Me Want To Sing.”  You can hear everything crystal clear with it all working together like a well-oiled machine.

“First Love” is a beautiful song.  I’ve always been found of it.  In fact, I admit red-faced that I once tried to sing it over the phone to an old girlfriend.  The tenderness and newness of such a deeply important personal experience is completely captured by Stryper.

Robert Sweet attacks the drums with gusto in “The Rock That Makes Me Roll.”  The lyrics of this song are written in a way that you could apply them to anything important you want to accomplish.

Michael Sweet and the rest of the band have cool exchanges in “Reach Out.”  This is definitely a song designed for the crowd-listener to sing along with.

“Surrender” is one of Stryper’s hardest rocking tunes.  The main guitar riff is a killer.  Ox Fox goes off big-time with his lead work and use the tremolo bar.  It’s one of the band’s best songs.  The chorus is catchy and the end harmony is a metal guitar duet made in heaven.

The dark, slower drum beat Robert Sweet established in “To Hell With The Devil” will have you trying to play along with him.  This tune almost has the feel of Black Sabbath, which is probably intentional.

There is a playfulness that shines bright in “Calling on You.”  This song is very positive and affirms the band’s outlook on life.

Drums and guitar are on a mission to rock your soul in “Free.”  I find the lyrics incredibly inspiring to do what I want to do.

Fox’s tremolo blurred lick into his solo of “The Way” will sear into your metal consciousness.

Love the way the guitar leads into “Sing Along Song.”  Robert Sweet’s drum beat is robust.  Stryper achieves Queen-like vocal harmony to go along with the guitars joining as one voice.

The beginning of “More Than a Man” has Fox dancing a metallic ballet or sorts.  The main guitar rhythm of the tune is cool and Michael Sweet really nails the notes at the end.

The heavy dark groove of “Bleeding from Inside Out” carries a punch.  The drums have weight and the bass has strong presence.

There’s a tug-of-war to the rhythm of “Blackened” that should get your attention.

I’ve listened to Second Coming as much or more than other CD released this year.  There is no possible way this won’t be in contention for Best Album of 2013, when all is said and done.

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