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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.


Top 25 Albums of 2020

The Top 25 Albums of 2020

When the going gets tough, artists create art. Despite a world reckoning outside our quarantined doors, musicians relentlessly created new music giving birth to genre-defining releases and, despite a year spent indoors, a marked 2020 full of passion and fervor. Here are our Top 25 albums of 2020.


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Droning On

The world came to a halt in 2020, but London-based Drones trudged on, giving a voice to the hurt that circulates with (or without) a pandemic: "You shouldn’t underestimate the power of writing things down or literally speaking them out loud, which I’m learning. I’m glad I made these songs, no matter how personal they are."


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