Stryper "Fallen" (Frontiers SRL)
On their 11th studio album, Stryper states the fundamental basis of their Christian faith more simply and directly than they ever have in a 30-plus year career.
They also rock harder than they ever have before. And that's a lethal combination.
If this were 1986, this album would easily sell 2 million copies. But it's not, and that's a shame, because 2 million people need to hear how good this album is.
It kicks off with "Yahweh," an emotional account of Christ's passion and crucifixion. Lead singer Michael Sweet's voice takes on an intentionally ragged edge on "Pride," but his piercing high notes survive intact, against all odds, in the band's fourth decade.
In "Big Screen Lies," the band decries the way Christianity is portrayed in mass media, and "Till I Get What I Need" is one of many full-speed-ahead rockers that show Stryper hasn't lost a second off their pace.
Many lyrics directly confront the listener: Do you believe in God? Is Christ just a name in a book you read in school? But guitarist Oz Fox and Sweet provide more than enough metal to appeal to those only marginally interested in the theology as well.
The band's trademark twin-guitar solos are here in all their glory, as is the four-part harmony that made the band MTV darlings in the 1980s.
This review has been corrected to show that "Fallen" is Stryper's 11th studio album, not their 9th.