Christian and Metal are not two words that commonly sit together, despite this though there are a huge number of Christian Metal Heads, and a few Christian Metal Bands just to keep the balance. Stryper is one of the front-runners of Christian Metal and have been working their way around the block since 1983. After splitting, like most good metal bands do, in 1992 they returned from an eleven year hiatus in 2003 and Murder By Pride is their second album since the return and seventh studio album overall.
With Murder By Pride, Stryper have returned to the sound that got them a Platinum, a few Gold’s and a Grammy nomination in the 80’s. You can picture their famous yellow and black costumes when listening to Michael Sweet’s voice, this band are well and truly back and doing what they’re best at. Oz Fox’s guitar work is a reminder of why we listen to rock music, with 4 Leaf Clover and Murder By Pride having some of the best guitar breaks on the album.
Sweet hasn’t lost a beat during this album, managing to scream each scream in perfect tone and equally keep perfect pitch for the ballads, the most notable is I Believe and the most moving My Love My Life My Flame. His outing as lead singer with Boston on they’re recent tour led to a cover of Tom Scholz’ Peace Of Mind, which actually features Scholz on guitar. Covers are rarely good, and rarely work, but in this case it fits perfectly into the sound of the album.
Stryper have also taken one of their own songs, My Love (I’ll Always Show), from their debut album and have amped it up, it’s now got more aggressive guitar and bass lines and a much more heavy rock grounding than their original version. Stryper have taken the best of their 80’s style and added to it their years of experience which has given them an album to be proud of, definitely in the ‘softer’ end of metal but still a fantastic album that will make Stryper fans very happy to have them back.