Title - 'Fallen' [Frontier]
Artist - Stryper
Stryper is one of the top Christian rock bands of all time. Comprised of the original line-up of Michael Sweet (vocals/guitar), Oz Fox (guitar), Tim Gaines (bass), and Robert Sweet (drums), Stryper has been successfully rocking since 1984.
Fallen is the follow-up to 2013's No More Hell To Pay, which was a critical and fan favorite for Stryper. Taking the best part of their classic material and fusing it with a heavier, modern sound and production, Fallen is an equal, if not better album than it's predecessor.
Fans of Stryper and hard rock and heavy metal, in general, have much to enjoy here, trust me. Produced by frontman/guitarist Michael Sweet himself, the set features some of Stryper’s strongest and, dare I say, melodic rock material ever.
But that's not to say that their heavyhearted, soulful back bone has been completely removed. Far from it. Indeed, the album kicks off with 'Yahweh,' a track that showcases their harder edge, but includes not only a tuneful sensibility throughout, but begins with an uplifting choir. The title track continues the musical vein, before a trio of musical gems are brought forth: 'Pride,' 'Big Screen Lies,' and 'Heaven.'
On a personal note, as far as Robert Sweet is concerned, I can't say anything that isn't already well known among Stryper fans; he's an incredible drummer; one of a kind, really. The member of the band who's gone through the most change is, of course, Michael. Over the years, his voice has taken a slightly "husky" quality. On most tracks, this absolutely works. Tracks such as the meat of the album 'Love You Like I Do,' 'All Over Again,' 'After Forever,' and both 'Till I Get What I Need' and 'Let There Be Light' showcase this perfectly.
In truth, the fact that, on most songs, he can still hit those high notes after all these years is nothing short of amazing. Which, as the album closes out with 'The Calling,' and then, one of the best tracks on the entire album, for me, the brilliant, near-operatic 'King Of Kings,' just goes to show that Stryper still have what it takes all these years later to compete with anyone in this genre of music. ANYONE!