September 28, 2022

Stripper – The Final Battle Review

Frontiers Music srl

Released: October 21, 2022

Genre: Heavy Metal

Connections: http://www.stryper.com/

Line up:

Michael Sweet – Lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar
Robert Sweet – Drums & Percussion
Oz Fox – lead and rhythm guitar, vocals
Perry Richardson – Bass, Vocals

List of tracks:

Transgressor
see no evil hear no evil
Same old story
heart soul
Near
Exit, climb and return
Answer the call
The way, the truth, the life
No rest for the wicked
Until death do us part
Ashes to ashes

It’s 2022, and not only is Stryper still releasing new music, they’re still crushing it. If you had told me back in the 80’s that this band best known for their smooth ballads and melodic songs about the Lord would still have been around in the next century and would continue to proselytize to the masses while making heavier music that they did at the time, I’m not sure I would have believed you. Of course even back then I was still a huge fan of the music they were making from their original EP The Yellow and Black Attack to what most thought was their last album Against the Law. Yet here we are, 9 albums deep in their reformation, and 9 albums that quite frankly rival anything from their classic period.

© Robert Cavauoto

© Robert Cavauoto

© Robert Cavauoto

Their latest album, The Final Battle, for me, captures everything they’ve done past and present, and created perhaps their strongest album to date. There were a lot of hurdles in their path to recording this one with the pandemic, Oz Fox battling brain tumors and Michael Sweet battling a detached retina, so maybe all of those issues culminated in reinvigorating the band for make him hungry and passionate again. The Final Battle has a focus and passion that I think the last two albums lacked, despite being a fantastic listener. I also feel like there’s an almost musical return to their roots, tapping into a darker classic metal sound, and maybe even hinting at the Against the Law style musically in places. Tracks like “No Rest For Wicked”, “Rise To the Call” and “Transgressions” contain massive riffs, deep grooves and power.

I hope the title, The Final Battle, isn’t an indication that Stryper is coming to an end, however, if that’s how they intend to end, that’s how it should be. TO DO. It’s a powerful album, easily one of the best of their career, and may, after a few more rounds, be their best. It is so good. They’ve been a much maligned band throughout their career, but it’s never been justified. Stryper is extremely talented and has written some amazing songs over his long career.

Written by: Chris Martin

Rating: 9/10

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