Stryper come out of the gate swinging on their 10th studio record, God Damn Evil. I have admittedly been on Stryper bandwagon from the beginning and, while there have been a few bumps in the road, have remained loyal and in turn rewarded with some amazing gems along the way; Soldiers Under Command, Reborn, and To Hell With The Devil being some of my favorite albums to date. That is, until I got a hold of God Damn Evil....
The opening track, “Take It To The Cross,” is so unlike anything they have ever done; it’s hard, aggressive, fast, and loaded with guttural growls contributed by Matt Bachand of Shadows Fall and Act Of Defiance. This is an all-out banger that almost instantly became my favorite Stryper song. And, while “Take It To The Cross” might be by far the heaviest track on the recording, the remaining ten do not let the listener down by any means.
Ten albums in and the group sound tighter, better and, as above-mentioned, heavier than ever. At this stage in a band’s career, many opt to go the easy route and in essence phone it in, releasing music within their comfort zone; however, Stryper has stepped outside the box with great success. Vocalist Michael Sweet has never sounded better, evidence of which can be heard on the aforementioned opener, plus the first few bars of the title track “God Damn Evil.” Unlike a lot of vocalists who have been around for this long, Sweet can still hit those massively high notes with an unbelievable amount of power.
Pretty much every track on this record is as solid as you can get, even the balladesque, “Can’t Live Without Your Love,” which is not a traditional ‘80s ballad but still something necessary for a Stryper release. At the end of the day, God Damn Evil will finds its way into many fans’ regular rotation and, without a doubt, remain near the top of the pile of their albums to date.
God Damn Evil Track Listing:
01. Take It to The Cross
04. God Damn Evil
05. You Don’t Even Know Me
06. The Valley
07. Sea Of Thieves
09. Can’t Live Without Your Love
10. Own Up
11. The Devil Doesn’t Live Here
Run Time: 44:41
Release Date: April 20, 2018
Check out the lead single “Take It to The Cross” right here.