Stryper - Reborn

The one thing you need to know about this new release by the christian rock band Stryper, entitled 'Reborn', is that it is definitely not, I repeat NOT, a belated follow up to 'Yellow and Black Attack' or 'To Hell with the Devil'. That was then and this most definitely is now! This is a more complete sounding beast that utilizes the technology and influences of their surroundings. It's a good fusion of musical genres too! The guitars are heavier with a D-tuned Soundgarden or Kings X feel ala 'Tapehead'. The pace has slowed with the instrumentation now more varied and rhythmical, but Michael Sweets voice still carries the same power, passion and silkiness it always did, and to be honest it's refreshing to hear the guy really singing his heart out. But let's not forget - the sugar sweet melodies - lush harmonies and big fat hooks that drip from every chorus and really get under your skin. It's an engaging ride from beginning to end with not a duffer in sight, but my own personal picks are 'Live again' - try not banging your head to this one - as Oz fox cranks out a riff of massive proportions against a backbeat of thundering drums, it's like Led Zep on meths! 'Passion' - a ballad of epic proportions ala Honestly, 'Wait for you' - a mid tempo winner that has those layered harmonies, pop metal sensibilities and a chorus so infectious you'll need a jab after you've listened to it! But the pick of the 11 songs on offer for me is 'Rain'. Its AOR at its finest recalling the cockiness of 80s melodic rock with a beatlesque melody running throughout, think Bon Jovi/Enuff z Nuff in their prime! Had this been released back in the 80s you would be looking at a contender for song of the year no question about it! It just could be the best song they have ever penned - it's a real limpet of a tune!

So, much like the way Velvet Revolver 'had' to revamp the old G n R sound to enable them to compete with today's music scene so too have Stryper, and when the dust settles the people who were naive enough to believe that they 'were' actually going to come back with an album full of 80s cock rock metal just might see why this CD is such a triumphant return for the band and should keep every fan of classy,well written and well played hard rock very happy.

The devil may have stole rock n roll but Stryper are on a mission to bring it back!

by Northern

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