Since the reformation of Stryper in 2003 and the subsequent release of their Reborn album, the band’s canon keeps getting better. The songwriting, instrumentation and lean production value of their latest release, Fallen, is no different. The similarities can be likened to 2013’s No More Hell to Pay where, again, Stryper has incorporated the classic metal elements of influences Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, while instilling a Christ-centered message throughout the album’s tracks.
“Not since 1990’s Against the Law has front man Michael Sweet been more ambitious vocally.”
Not since 1990’s Against the Law has front man Michael Sweet been more ambitious vocally, letting loose his trademark clean falsetto. On the title track as well as “Pride,” the singer belts out raspy, toe-curling screams, pushing his voice to the limit without sacrificing quality. In keeping with their penchant for covers, Stryper kicks out an impressive version of Black Sabbath’s “After Forever” synced up to drummer Robert Sweet and bassist Tim Gaines’ bruising rhythms. The catchy “Big Screen Lies,” a cautionary tale of the world’s deceptive media, is one of the record’s selected pre-release singles, though veteran fans may favor the heavier tracks.
The Michael Sweet and Oz Fox guitar duo is as vicious and enlivening as ever, proven in the track “Let There Be Light.” “All Over Again” provides a welcome break right in the middle of the tracklist; the country-tinged love song is a break from the hard and heavy tracks, demonstrating their ballad-writing mojo, and rises up as one of the band’s best ballads. Overall, another wonderful album from some of rock and roll’s best songwriters.