Just when we were drowning in deep and dark waters, judgment day came to set us free. We have seen the light. Sky is clearer, the sun is brighter and suddenly you understand everything, you just had a revelation.
We were definitely giving up on glam metal revival albums. Some of them sound ok, some other are disastrous. New bands’ stuff is getting less and less creative everyday no matter how much hairspray they wear, regardless of how cool they look, music seems to be left to a secondary place. Yes, this was turning into Babylon, my friends. Harlots, riders, trumpets and everything you read about was becoming real. Someone had to put things in order.
Stryper are the chosen ones. After re- recording the most anthemic songs of their classic albums in Second Coming, launched this year too, the only band that can mix blind Christian faith with heavy metal and get away with it, had launched their ninth studio album, No More Hell To Pay, which regardless of what you believe, is a religious experience.
Produced by Michael Sweet himself, the album is opened by ‘Revelation’’s power guitars. Despite is a mid tempo song, it works as a preview of all the great things you’ll find throughout the album : catchy choirs, heavy sound but extremely melodic tunes, amazing riffs, powerful bass and solid drums.
No More Hell To Pay is the first single and it is because of something. It carries the album name, it’s a mixture of a heavier sound that you can notice, especially in the drums, but it has all the vibe of the classic Stryper we know and we love. It reminds you to Calling On You and all Stryper’s best stuff, just renewed.
Saved By Love is pure New Wave Of British Heavy Metal and all about Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, followed for Jesus Is Just Allright With Me which has a similar tint, just a bit more progressive. Thundering, wonderful pack.
Special mention to Water Into Wine, which, to me should be the second single of the album. Catchy, heavy but still melodic, pure classic Stryper.
Sympathy has a more rock and roll sound and Renewed is just the right song to close a great, rounded heavy metal album with an excellent sound but all the old school power that we miss so much these days.
Yes, judgement day is here. Maybe there are no trumpets but guitars and maybe there are no angels but Michael Sweet singing just like in his best years and Tim Gaines sounding like a thunder. No More Hell To Pay has set a very high standard to follow and judge next albums of the genre. If Stryper could make such an amazing record after years , then so could do a long list of bands trying to be part of 80s glam revival. If Stryper can reinvent themselves like this, then new bands should stop copying to each other cause they supposedly have new and fresh energy.
Why Stryper can rock despite the Christian lyrics? Cause they don’t give a shit about what others think! They honestly don’t care if you think the lyrics sucks or that they are a heavy metal paradox. They just write and sing what they think. And that’s honestly so rock and roll. No More Hell To Pay is definitely a religious experience, completely worthy of such an utterance, cause once the record it’s over, the only thing coming to your mind is: OH- MY – GOD!