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Stryper - 'Second Coming' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/d5/08/a2/3470_strypersecondcoming_1365038095.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 04, 2013    
 
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This is one occasion where the originals have been improved upon

Isn't it just the most annoying thing when a band you really like waste time and money in the studio just to come out with either an album of covers or re-recorded versions of their biggest hits? Christian rockers Stryper have now done both in the last couple of years, but at least they've done them well. 'The Gathering' was a pretty good Stryper-ization of many rock and metal classics, but it doesn't really compare with these excellent new recordings of many of their best tracks, which cover the earlier part of their career and comprise two tracks from 'The Yellow And Black Attack' mini-album and six tracks each from 'Soldiers Under Command' and 'To Hell With The Devil', as well as two new songs.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Second Coming' focuses on the more metallic side of their material and mostly consists of tracks that they still play live quite regularly, only the debut's 'You Know What To Do' is missing from the songs I would have chosen myself. Musically the band have stayed faithful to the originals in all the important areas like guitar solos, arrangements and the huge vocal harmonies, the only slight differences being a few drum and bass parts and the fact that every song has a proper ending and no fade-outs. The biggest change however is that it all sounds so chunky, particularly the mini-album tracks 'Loud N' Clear' and 'Loving You', and the doubled-up guitars on the verse of 'Makes Me Wanna Sing', with bassist Tim Gaines more audible than he's ever been and singer Michael Sweet easily recreating all the high screams from the original versions and even ad-libbing on 'The Way'. 'First Love' is the only ballad and tracks like 'The Rock That Makes Me Roll', 'More Than A Man', 'Surrender' and 'Free' rock pretty hard with Robert Sweet's thundering drums and Michael Sweet and Oz Fox's intense riffs and solos. Even more melodic fare like 'Calling On You', 'Reach Out' and the usually cheesy 'Sing Along Song' have all been beefed-up no end.

The thumping mid-paced 'Bleeding From Inside Out' and bass-driven 'Blackened' are the excellent new songs, adding a more modern sound to proceedings but retaining all the familiar Stryper hallmarks. As a long time fan I can say that all the re-recordings will now be my preferred versions to listen to, so this is one occasion where the originals have been improved upon. Now, about that new album?

Phil Ashcroft

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