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The Christian hard rockers in black and yellow colors are back on their quest with yet another album. They have through the years been up for debate in the community of hard rock and metal as they have been recognized and identified for their beliefs and religious standpoints, even if things have eased up quite massively since this band first started out.
Personally I don't often care what band's lyrics are about, as long as the words come out with a good flow and fit the music well. Of course there are exceptions where I really listen to the words too and therefore, in some odd way, the band's cover version of Black Sabbath's classic song After Forever seems to fit right in with Stryper's way of seeing things and it also adapts to the record's entirety by giving it another dimension through variation.
Even though this is Stryper's heaviest record to this date, they still come out very melodic, yet without being too soft and weak. Some of the songs are really awesome, while just a small part of them might be considered fillers, like the album's sole ballad, All Over Again, for example. At first it seemed like this effort was just following the given standards of this type of music, but as I really started looking into it, the big difference is that they are able to come out with highly captivating stuff and that the music is truly fresh and alive.
Michael Sweet still comes out on a high note and his vocal abilities can't be questioned. He has a good amount of melody and power in his voice and he shows the he continues to be a force to be reckoned with. Besides the strong song material, his confident performance is perhaps utterly what makes this record to the great piece of music that it is. I must admit that I haven't really always paid attention to this unit's releases, but I guess that after hearing this record and being struck by its impact, my personal approach on this matter now substantially has to change.