No More Hell To Pay review by Stryper

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  • Released: Nov 5, 2013
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (19 votes)
Stryper: No More Hell To Pay
3

Sound — 8
Stryper have been delivering their unique form of heavy metal for over three decades now. Their instantly recognizable vocal harmonies and guitar melodies, infused with the group's personal religious beliefs made Stryper the first overtly Christian metal band to be accepted into the mainstream. While Stryper released their debut studio album "The Yellow and Black Attack" back in 1983, the band hit their real stride following the release of their iconic album "To Hell With the Devil." This album changed the way we all looked at Christian music, and has since set the standard by which all other groups who fall under the same metal subgenre are judged. Such songs as "Honestly," "Calling on You" and "Free" climbed the charts, and boasted all of the qualities which have since become synonymous with Stryper's music: heavily distorted guitar, harmonious backup vocal melodies, and the broad vocal range of frontman Michael Sweet. "To Hell With the Devil" proved to be the most successful period of Stryper's history, but it didn't just end there. Since the band's formation thirty years ago, Stryper has released a now grand total of eleven studio albums, all of which are filled to the brim with the group's signature qualities: and when it comes to their new album, "No More Hell to Pay," it's no exception. Their first effort comprised of all new recordings since 2009's "Murder by Pride," and Stryper are back and as strong as ever. No matter where you set the needle on the record, you will be met with prime anthems which all sound as though they are lost recordings from the "To Hell With the Devil" sessions. "Revelation" and the album's title track are undoubtedly Stryper songs, with showcase the instantly recognizable dual guitar work of Oz Fox and Michael Sweet. The later of the two includes some familiar, high pitched primal screams from Sweet, which attributes even more to the nostalgic listening experience. "Marching Into Battle" is comprised of a crunching, rhythm guitar beat and a commanding percussion section, appropriate considering the song title. Similar to Stryper's 2011 studio album, "The Covering," "No More Hell to Pay" also includes a cover song, and this time it's the gospel classic "Jesus Is Just Alright." This song allows the members of Stryper to take charge and put their vocal melodies to good use, and features yet another standout guitar solo.

Lyrics — 8
Lead vocalist Michael Sweet is in top form all throughout Stryper's new effort. For someone who has been issuing piercing primal screams for three decades, his voice is in surprisingly excellent shape. He can still hit those same high notes with apparent ease, drop down to a relatively low pitch during the verse of "Jesus Is Just Alright," and still jump back in with Oz Fox and bassist Tim Gaines for their definitive group vocal melodies. It's important to note that while the band made their own personal beliefs apparent in their lyrics, Stryper never made them overly apparent to the point that they consumed the actual song. When it comes to "No More Hell to Pay," the lyrical content is no different.

Overall Impression — 8
Stryper execute an applaudable performance with their new studio album, "No More Hell to Pay." Each song within this twelve track collection is standout, and could easily fit right at home amongst earlier selections from the band's catalog on a "Greatest Hits" release. To any established fan of Stryper's earlier efforts, this is one album that you can't afford to miss out on.

34 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Way Cool JR.
    Wow, I forgot how great Stryper is. I use to rock their music back in the '80s. They are still sounding really,really great.
    Wininacan
    they're really sounding like the want almost every song to start with a descending slide
    amir razmara
    Old school "Kick ass Metal" at least there are still doing it.
    Rocknrolla35
    Well, i have to note, that it is 100% pure old-school metal. It's close to oldschool stuff, but there is a tinge of modern to it. I think that at the very least, the song "Revelation" sounds a bit modern.
    smboye
    I need to get this on vinyl and see if it sounds any better than the shitty ass digital version.....but kudos to Stryper for still shredding after all these years.....by far their best since "To Hell With The Devil".....(Metallica take notice)
    seabear70
    I hated these guys in the 80's, not because they were christian, but because I thought they sucked. I listened to the new music, and I have to admit, I liked it. I will be buying the CD.
    Genrecore
    Sounds a bit compressed, I don't like the mixing. It's decent album, can be cheesy at times. I could give less of a **** if they were Christian, similarly if it was "satanic." I don't take any of that shit seriously, but they're free to believe whatever they want and I respect that.
    McDonaldsISdeth
    So the drummer couldn't put together his freaking kit for the video?
    Tracii Lee
    Stryper put a thing on their Facebook page saying the film crew wouldn't give them enough time to set up the drums in the desert for filming. I can't remember exactly why or find the post but it wasn't the bands decision
    Rocknrolla35
    I have to say, that this album still DOES sound a bit modern, if you look at some leads and rhythms in some places. But it's still cool.
    StrauS
    So what makes this metal band Christian? Lyrics only? If so, why do we need religion to separate this already contoversal music community into even more subgenres? I mean, what's the point of emphasizing the belonging to a certain confession?
    crazysam23_Atax
    Lyrics and the fact that the group is VERY upfront about their beliefs. Stryper used to hand out Bibles at concerts in the '80s. Their name is an acronym for a Christian message ("salvation through redemption, yielding peace, encouragement and righteousness"). They were also the first Heavy Metal to be upfront about their Christianity and gain international fame. Normally, I would agree with you completely. But, in Stryper's case, I think it's fair to attach the label "Christian".
    HeavyMetalSonic
    Fanboys down-voting me because the album was mastered too loud who probably haven't even listened to it.
    Yasaki
    Why is this called metal? It's hardly more than soft rock imo...
    HeavyMetalSonic
    Too bad it sounds like compressed garbage. Listen to how bad the crackling is at the beginning of the first song.
    rasylvia2006
    I have this album and love it. The sound quality is superb on my copy (at any volume) no compression, distortion, crackling. Even my mp3 rip sounds good. I don't hear any issues. I buy and listen to a lot of (Classic) Hard Rock, Metal, Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal...this is the best album I have purchased in a long, long time.
    FrauVfromPoB
    First, Stryper is awesome. They're one of my favorite classic metal/glam kind of bands. But saying that they're not so upfront about their beliefs that it takes up the whole is a lie and a half. Listen to "Makes Me Want To Sing" and tell me it's not obvious how much they love Jebus.
    INSULIN
    GENRE-ITS ROCK AND ROLL WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE NAMED -I INVENTED=EMOTH COMBINE EMO AND GOTH.THE THING WITH CHRIOSTIAN ROCK IS HOW MANY SONGS CAN YOU WRITE ABOUT JESUS AND GOD .SAM WITH RAP GEEZ BITCHES AND HOES MY BLING HA AH
    damillion
    The only thing that's worse than Stryper is Poison...and "christian metal" isn't a genre. It just isn't.
    HeavyMetalSonic
    Stryper and Poison are totally different. Stryper is a METAL band with really talented guitar players who write awesome songs. Poison is a sissy rock band who dresses up like girls and writes songs about girls for girls. Can't sing worth a damn, can't play worth a damn.
    Rocknrolla35
    Well, while it is clear, that Poison aren't the best band put there, i wouldn't put them don so much. They've got some good, relatable stuff too. I personally have a few songs i can relate to, and they're NOT about stupidly ****ing as many girls as you can.
    AwesomeOne3
    Well, Poison isn't the best band ever, but they had a few good songs. Every Rose has its thorn, something to believe in, talk dirty to me, nothing but a good time.