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Top Ten Favorite Albums of the Last Two Years: #9 No More Hell To Pay by Stryper

Stryper is a 1980s metal group who had songs about Christianity. They were one of the most controversial metal groups during the 1980s because like a couple other groups such as U2 and Living Colour they were pushin for reform. In 2011 they were ranked the best Christian metal group of all time.

Stryper just came out with a new album last fall and they don’t sound dated at all. Their first song on their new album called Revelation, which probably should have been last on the album due to the song title, sounds like your typical, new rocking metal song. The title song of the album called No More Hell To Pay roars right out of the gate. This is typical Stryper at their best with the dramatic vocals and fast, rocking guitar.

Pretty much every song on the album is a rocker and includes some noticeable songs such as a cover of Jesus Is Just All Right With Me, which was a song by the Doobie Brothers, but is now a much more rocking, cooler version by Stryper. Some of the songs are a little slower and more focused on vocals than guitar such as One. However, for every balladish type song there are a couple of rockers such as Legacy and the groovy song called Marching Into Battle, which almost sounds like it borrows its guitar riff from Foxey Lady by Jimi Hendrix, and keeps the metal album from ever sounding too boring or poppish.

Stryper fans didn’t want to watch Stryper mature gracefully like Bon Jovi and then fade into the night. They wanted them to take a page from Def Leppard’s song called Rock of Ages by burning out instead of fading away with such rockers as the Spanish titled Te Amo. The old grade school rhyme song Sticks and Stones, Biblically referential Water Into Wine, Jake E. Lee’ish Sympathy and frenetic song called Renewal all round out the album nicely and keep most of the album running fast the entire time.

Stryper’s new album keeps them from sounding tired and makes them sound like even now a days a metal group definitely worth checking out, only a little lighter in tone than darker and angstier groups such as Black Label Society and Saliva. It’s good to hear that not only can a group like Stryper rock and roll like the old times, but also maintain a positive attitude while doing so.

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