September 27, 2020

I still fail to understand why the term Christian Rock is something of a turn off to some music fans, seemingly it is okay to sing about the devil, evil, destruction, annihilation etc but mention the Lord, The Good Book or The Good News and you are often subjected to derision or even contempt and I’m simply not sure why. Stryper are a Christian metal band and mightily proud of it so why not listen to the music and just enjoy a very fine metal band indeed? In fact, if you are put off by the term then just have a quick listen to Neal Morse, Saviour Machine or the simply amazing Theocracy and you will soon realise that you are missing out on music that is superb, very moving and can be truly heavy too.

Photo: Chad Barger

It is also true that there are plenty of people who listen to music but let the lyrics simply wash over them so then, if taken at face value, Stryper can then be seen as a very good hard rock band and it would be an awful shame to miss out on some quality metal just because the lyrics or themes might make you a little uncomfortable. If anything, the band has been getting even heavier since the comeback in 2003 with the last couple of albums being absolutely perfect examples of heavy metal at its best with 2018’s God Damn Evil as perfect a rock album as there is. So now we come to the latest release in Even The Devil Believes and I’m pleased to report that this is another killer album that is as bombastic as metal gets.

Vocalist Mathew Sweet again delivers a master class in the art of being a band frontman and thoroughly deserves to be mentioned alongside the best in the business with his voice remaining as true and powerful as it was when he first started out. His guitar playing is exemplary too and he combines perfectly with fellow guitarist Oz Fox and they both revel in heavy riffs and glorious solos. Robert Sweet, Mathew’s brother, is an outstandingly good drummer and he is developing a real rapport with the relative newcomer on bass, Perry Richardson (Firehouse) who joined in 2017 and first featured on God Damn Evil and, between them, they provide such a solid platform for the fireworks provided by Sweet and Fox. Paul McNamara who guests on keyboards as does Keith Pittmanms on backing vocals Even The Devil Believes is a high quality metal album suffused with great songs that are full of melody, great vocal harmonies and killer guitar and the band is rightly regarded as a true rock great. The album opens with the huge ‘Blood From Above’ and this classic metal tracks very much sets the scene for what follows which is basically 47-minutes of hard rock Heaven. The album closer Middle Finger Messiah reminds a little of Judas Priest’s Exciter and ends the album in great style and perfectly sums up this fine and proud Christian Rock band, ignore them and you are truly missing out on some fabulous hard rock.

Even The Devil Believes track list

  1. Blood From Above (3:21)
  2. Make Love Great Again (5:53)
  3. Let Him In (3:52)
  4. Do Unto Others (4:39)
  5. Even The Devil Believes (4:35)
  6. How To Fly (4:09)
  7. Divider (3:30)
  8. This I Pray (4:29)
  9. Invitation Only (3:32)
  10. Middle Finger Messiah (4:21)