stryper-no-more-hell-to-pay_600Stryper – No More Hell to Pay
Release Date:
Highlights: The entire album

I’ve been a Stryper fan since 1985 and I will be the first to defend this band no matter what the cost.  Call them cheesy, corny, Jesus freaks, whatever.  You can call them anything but what can’t say is that this band can’t kick as much fucking ass as any other metal band out there.  Yeah, I just cursed during a Stryper review.  What are you gonna do?  Tell Michael Sweet on me?  Just like any metal band in the 80’s of their genre Stryper put out their share of cheesy ballads but what some fail to remember is the amount of face melting material like “To Hell With The Devil”, “In God We Trust”, “The Writing’s On The Wall”, and “Soldiers Under Command” just to name a few.  After disbanding in 1990, Stryper returned to the scene in 2005 with “Reborn” and while this had fans ecstatic, this long time fan felt like they hadn’t quite hit the mark.  That is until this year’s latest release No More Hell to Pay.

No More Hell To Pay is not just the album that I wanted to hear as a Stryper fan but it’s an album that I as a metal fan am ecstatic about.  Stryper has managed to create a face melting, jaw dropping collection of songs that not only maintains the signature Stryper sound but it also sounds modernly relevant and fresh.  This isn’t your average nostalgic metal band that is out of ideas and just going through the motions trying to be relevant.  This is a band that has found that spark and turned into a passionate, youthful, and intense fire that burns from song to song.  Sorry to talk about so much “fire” while talking about Stryper but in all seriousness, it’s epic behind all of my expectations.

Stryper digs deep into their influential roots and managed to pull three songs back to back opening the album that sound like power metal at its finest.  A face melting cover of The Doobie Brothers’ classic “Jesus is Just Alright” kicks so much ass and makes you wonder what took them so long to do this one.  The dueling solos in this song solidify the fact that Michael Sweet and Oz Fox are two metals most unsung and unrecognized guitar gods.  These guys just shred it up while Michael Sweet’s voice is as pristine as it’s always been unleashing banshee screams that could shatter stained glass.  Why Michael Sweet hasn’t always been considered when talking about great metal vocalists I will never understand but after hearing this album, it’s safe to say that he is without a doubt worthy of sitting in top tier alongside the greatest of the greats.  “The One” is a ballad but not like anything they’ve ever done before. This song totally reminds me of something I would hear on an Avantasia album while “Te Amo” is straight up NWOBHM.  “Renewed” closes out the album with a bang but I almost felt like I was left hanging somewhat which is a great thing.  Anytime I listen to an album and when it’s over feel like I could hear more of it, I know that I’ve just listened to an awesome album.

No More Hell to Pay is a dynamic and exciting metal album no matter how you slice it.  In all honesty, even the “God” message seems to be a bit more subtle which should allow even the most Athiest of fans to grasp on to.  With No More Hell to Pay, Stryper demonstrates their ability to write and deliver some of the best metal songs I’ve heard this year.  Sonically it’s an amazingly produced album and it sounds as bombastic and clear as any great metal album should.  Do yourself a favor and at least give this album a try as it just may be the best album you won’t be hearing all year.  Stryper has proven to me once and for all to be an strong and defiant force in metal standing tall no matter what gets thrown their way.  Trust me, the only thing the Brainfart will be throwing Stryper’s way is two sets of high flying horns!

About Don de Leaumont

Don (aka. The Brainfart) has been a heavy metal fan since hearing it for the first time in 1983. Don is also repsonsible for all of the typos, shitty grammar, and kick ass content on this site. Don likes cheap beer, whiskey, Coca Cola Icees, going to shows, and hanging with his kick ass wife, two cats and dog. He originally wanted to name his dog Shandi but his wife said, “No fucking way.”

Sad to say that I never took Stryper ‘seriously’ when I was growing into a metal fan. My parents did take me to church every Sunday and I grew up with a general sense of right & wrong.

But once I heard Dio and Maiden and Metallica, that DEFINED the Heavy Metal aura to me. Metal had dark, make-your-parents-nervous-but -not-completely-worried imagery. The songs were about sex & war & partying. Not this religious stuff those guys in the yellow & black stripes were going on about. You got these guys over here, and those guys way over there and there’s no room to meet in the middle.

I was stupid.

30 years later, here I am a completely different person. 10 years of sobriety gave me a different outlook. Last year, I started going to church and accepted Jesus as my savior.

The metal never left me, but it’s a lot of work to always listen to heavy music with your “guard up.” I’d never given Stryper a second thought since 1985, so this review helped reintroduce me to everything I was missing. I’ve been listening to a lot of their stuff on Spotify the past couple of weeks and there’s a lot to like. I’ve also been turned onto other “Christian Metal” bands like Narnia and Golden Resurrection. I’m open to any other suggestions, too.

PS: “Jesus is Just Alright” is a Doobie Brothers song to this listener. Seems like a no-brainer for Stryper to cover, I’m surprised they haven’t done it sooner, too.

i have been a fan since i purchased the yellow and black attack ep on cassette in the 80’s-and its been a great ride with some great albums and some not so great-NMHTP is the album I have been waiting for from Stryper…I cant wait to hear the whole album!!!!

steve d. conlon jr.. says:

the album from stryper no more hell to pay, will be the best yet for stryper to. for 2013 and maybe even for 2014 to. so praise stryper and keep the fire burning to. but what I,ve heard from the no more hell to pay album sounds really good and hard driving stuff to, for the stryper guys, so ya it is a kick ass album. cant wait to get it myself when it comes out in November 5th of right now 2013.. so keep up the good work stryper you guys rule. from steve conlon jr.. Canada alberta..

steve d. conlon jr. says:

I just want to say that stryper is a very good metal band. and I feel bad that people cut them down, because of their christain back ground, but you know what stryper is just stryper know matter what. good hard rocken metal music that makes you feel good about yourself, and when you play a stryper album cant help but to rock out to it. cause it just lefts you up, and that the power of stryper and god and jesus. just remember by his stripes we are healed.. 777 so I say jesus is the way. and stryper just keep on rocken. from your fan steve conlon jr. in Canada Alberta.

Pepijn says:

“Jesus Is Just Alright” by the Doobie Brothers? It is from The Art Reynolds Singers.

The Brainfart says:

Well hi there Mr. Know-it-all. Before you come in here spouting off your knowledge of obscure gospel music (which did impress me by the way), you should probably know that this song was also on The Doobie Brothers’ 1972 album Toulouse Street. Being that this is a hard rock/metal blog, I’d bet that it’s safe to say that 90% of my readers remember this as a Doobie Brothers’ song. Cheers!

Dave Legassey says:

Michael sweet is actually the most underrated vocalist. He can sing anything

That’s cool. Going to check it out. Personally, I prefer Saint. Have you heard their TIMES END album? Good stuff.

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