Stryper sold a lot of music based on the strength of ballads like “Honestly,” perhaps so much so that it’s easy to forget how hard the band can rock. Oz Fox and company fight back with guitars and silence their naysayers with this fun disc covering many of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s metal acts that Stryper listened to growing up, a who’s who list of metal including Priest, Maiden, Kiss, Purple, Led Zep, VH, UFO, Ozzy and the Scorpions. Many in the biz have responded with open mouthed amazement at the skill and ingenuity with which Stryper have put their own stamp on these guitar classics, this reviewer included. The yellow and black covering Kiss, the Scorpions, and Ozzy stylistically isn’t such a stretch, but the performance on mandatory headbangers like “Highway Star,” “Breaking the Law,” and “The Trooper” is jaw dropping. Includes one new Stryper original “God,” lest you should think that Stryper has forsaken “The Way.” Lots of tasty morsels here, but the crown jewel of them all is Michael Sweet playing homage to the late great Ronnie James Dio during his Black Sabbath era for the dark classic masterpiece “Heaven and Hell.” The comic book angel cover art is goofy, but you won’t mind when your windows are rolled down, playing this cover album loud and often. Well done, guys!
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