Stryper has been rocking since the early ’80s. Before they were known as Stryper, they were Roxx Regime. In 1983 they changed their name to Stryper, and in 1984 they released The Yellow and Black Attack. Nearly thirty years later, the band is still rocking with its latest album, The Final Battle.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
The band hit it big with its third album, To Hell With The Devil, and made several videos well received by the MTV audience. Subsequently, their first and second albums sold more copies thanks to To Hell With The Devil. The band followed up its third album with 1988’s In God We Trust, which also did well with the MTV crowd and sold pretty well.
The band’s fifth album, Against The Law, was a drastic departure from where they started, and this is where Stryper lost me for many years. The band saw its look change; the big hair, the yellow and black, and the sound were gone, replaced with a more straightforward rock band style that sounded like Van Halen and other ’80s/’90s rock bands of the era.
After Against The Law, the band took a break and resurfaced in 2005 with Reborn to get back to the Stryper of old. The effort was okay, but they still lacked what made them who they were in the early ’80s. Three more albums followed, each getting closer to what they used to be, and No More Hell To Pay hit the market.
This is where I feel the band started to find themselves again in their sound, vocals, and attitude. Fallen, followed by God Damn Evil, Even The Devil Believes, and finally, The Final Battle has brought the boys back full circle.
The Final Battle feels like a pure return of the ’80s Stryper that pulled me in with their searing vocals, precise harmonies, and spot-on guitar solos.
Michael Sweet has gone on record to say that his vocal range isn’t what it used to be when he was younger, but he has fooled me! His range is as good as ever, and in my opinion, he is still one of the best, if not THE BEST, heavy metal screamers out there.
The band’s arrangements here are everything I remember. From Oz Fox and Michael Sweet’s brilliant guitar work to Robert Sweet’s insane drumming/percussion and Perry Richardson’s low-end balance, the entire album feels tight and in the pocket.
I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t mention that I miss Tim Gaines on bass. That whole situation was profoundly personal between Gaines and the band, and I won’t get into it. I will give mad props to Perry Richardson; he’s a great replacement.
A few songs didn’t hit me, but perhaps they will as I listen to the album more and more. Overall, The Final Battle is THE album I have been waiting for from Stryper for years. Their earlier efforts have been reasonable, but this album marks the total return of the band I grew up with in the ’80s.
The Final Battle is a solid album from a band that I’ve always respected and loved. In my eyes, this is the return of the Stryper of the ’80s. Solid guitars. Perfect vocals. Wonderful harmonies. Well-crafted arrangements, this album has everything a good Heavy Metal album should have, and it’s well worth a listen. I’m looking forward to the next album after this!
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Last Updated on December 24, 2022.
Stryper The Final Battle
- Michael Sweet and Oz Fox guitars are so good
- Sweet can still hit those high notes
- Great arrangements like classic Stryper
- A few songs weren’t my favorite but that is normal for any album