80’s heavy metal sensation Stryper is back with its 10th studio album! One of the 80’s metal bands that continues to flourish. We still have three of the four original members in the band as well, which is great. Michael Sweet provide his ear-splitting vocals and still has some great high-end range to go along with his powerful singing voice. He shares guitar duties with Oz Fox and Stryper has always been a great guitar band. Lots of blazing solos including some dual solos that are just awesome. We have Michael’s brother Robert Sweet on the drums and new bassist Perry Richardson round up the lineup.
A lot of the songs have a real metal anthem feel to them. It amazes me that Stryper manages to make every album feel different, even though the sound is very similar. The more I listen to this album it just consumes me. Sweet is simply one of the best pure metal vocalists there is when it comes to 80’s style and power metal. We have 11 songs and a good 45 minutes of music with this release. Best of all there is not a song I skip on this album, they are all great.
The album kicks off with “Take it to The Cross”. A very eerie into starts the song. You wait in anticipation, not knowing what to expect. You can feel the sound building, louder and louder and then the anthem style guitar kicks in and we are off and running. Some great backing vocals start and then Sweet’s power vocals start us on our journey though one great album. The chorus is very fast and has a unique style. It is one of those little nuances that makes this album feel a little different than other Stryper albums. We are treated to our first guitar solo, which is a dual guitar solo and just leaves a smile on your face.
Next up we have “Sorry” which is a highlight on the album. It starts off with that great 80’s guitar riff. Sweet vocals kick in with that classic 80s feel and then a great chorus moves this song along. This song would have been a monster hit in the days of MTV when they actually played music videos. The great guitar work in this song follows. For those who love guitar solos and guitar featured throughout an album this will not disappoint. This song is one you just want to listen to over and over.
The title track “God Damn Evil” is one of the best songs on the album. Sweet once again gets us started with one of his signature screams! This is a rock anthem at is best. One of the best choruses on the whole album is in this song. This whole song just makes me want to start head banging. I know a sound like a broken record, but another great dueling guitar solos just rips this song in half. I just can’t get enough of the guitar work in this album. The backing vocals are also awesome on this album. The end of this song just leaves you wanting more and more. What a fantastic song!
“Can’t Live Without You” is the power ballad you knew was coming on the album. I am absolutely a sucker for a great 80s metal power ballad and this delivers the goods. Two fantastic melodic guitar solos are a real treat in this song. Though the second solo really amps up as it goes, I absolutely love this song. Toward the end of the song the ballad disappears and it just shreds.
The album ends with the “Devil Doesn’t Live Here”. It starts with a nice little drum solo and the drumming is really featured during the song. This song has a groove to it that is pure bliss. The guitar work even has a sass to it, that is fun to listen to. A good Sweet scream in the middle of the song fits well. Then the guitars kick in and the solo is wild and crazy, but great. Then we get another Sweet ear-piercing scream. This song tears you up. If two Sweet screams were not enough for you, we get a third to end the album. This song wraps the album up well.
What a ride “God Damn Evil” is. I have been fortunate to review a few great releases for 2018, but this one rockets straight to the top. If you love 80s or power metal this album is a must have. I was simply blown away by this release. It is not often I like an album the first time I listen to it. It usually takes my about five spins to warm up to a new release. On my first listen I knew this was a masterpiece. All I can say is well done Stryper, this is an amazing piece of work.