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Stryper certainly wasn't the first Christian Metal band to appear on the scene.  However, they arguably are the most successful with razor-sharp guitars, atmospheric vocals, and incredibly pleasing melodies that created a unique space for their positive message during the 1980's and beyond.  In addition to their amazing studio albums, Stryper is a fantastic live band and with high-energy shows that rival some of the best in the business across all genres. That said, it was inevitable they would become the darlings of MTV back in the day and ultimately one of the biggest rock bands on the planet during that era.  However, it was evident then that the struggle was real as Stryper faced an uphill battle trying to infuse a Christian message into a genre of music that generally is associated with the darker side of things.  Through hard work, determination, and a rabid fan-base, they persevered where most bands of their time fell by the wayside.  

After enduring a hiatus during the '90s, Stryper emerged stronger and more confident in their own skin and put out some of the most potent music of their career.  Following suit with their latest, Even the Devil Believes, they take it to a whole new level with an 11-track album album that challenges the mind and inspires the soul.  Michael Sweet's vocals are still top-notch, and the musicianship from other band members including Oz Fox (guitar), Robert Sweet (drums), and newcomer Perry Richardson (bass), complement each other in incredible ways that showcase this immensely talented band.  Upon dropping the needle on their latest, fans are immediately blown away with their opening salvo, "Blood from Above."  Listeners are immediately immersed into a transcendent track which could be the best song on the album and fit for opening of an upcoming live show.  Stryper's signature guitar sound, amazing harmonies, and patented screams are all there on display from the get go and it only gets better from there.

While most can recognize a Stryper song within a few notes, it is interesting to see how the band has evolved lyrically with each new album.  This record is in stark contrast to their previous release, God Damn Evil, where they took an aggressive, often angry angle condemning all things sin.  Even the Devil Believes seems to take a complete 180 with a much needed message of hope and love while keeping their unique edge in tact, sending us a welcome respite to this crazy year we are all having to endure.  "Let Him In," an upbeat flat-out rocker, showcases how good this band still is,  showcasing brilliant backing vocals which power Stryper's unmistakable choruses and will surely be welcoming sound for the longtime Stryper fan.  The title track "Even the Devil Believes" reveals itself as a surefire fist-pumper, which leads into "How to Fly", an engaging throwback song that will instantly transport you back to the '80s. 

My personal favorite on the record, however, is the track "Divider."  This one confronts those who go to great lengths to upset the apple cart for their enjoyment, all with some of the most vicious guitars on the entire album.  "For God and Rock ‘n Roll" is another that pays homage to all things classic Stryper, which opens the door to the album's closer, "Middle Finger Messiah."  It' a musical exclamation point which again showcases the musical prowess of this seasoned band.  Once you listen to this one, you'll immediately recognize something in the chorus as it pays homage to an unmistakable melody will surely make you "taste the fire on your tongue".

Stryper has come a long way since the secular hits "Calling on You," "Honestly" and "Always There For You", for sure.  While they may not currently be breaking any new musical barriers this time around, they are still putting out high-quality kick-ass music some 40 years later and that's no easy feat.  Stryper's signature sound and incredible musicianship is on full-display throughout this album with inspirational lyrics much needed in this day and age.  Longtime fans will love their latest and new ones will be immediately pulled into the fold after the first track - it's that good.   And to all the haters out their, Stryper has nothing to prove with this release.  Their legacy has withstood the test of time, and their latest release, Even the Devil Believes, is no exception to their amazing legacy.   


As always, be well, and wash your hands...     Hunnypot Approved!     Overall Rating:  9.1 out of 10

Artist:  Stryper  LPEven the Devil Believes  Release Date: September, 2nd, 2020,   Label:  Frontiers Music SLR


This post and review is in honor of John McAteer.  John died suddenly on Sunday evening (10/20/2020) due to a heart attack. He was an avid Stryper fan and the new album made him smile and its all he could talk about as of recent. Let’s all pray for the family and specifically for John’s wife, Paula as well as his son Nathan.

Our thoughts and hearts go out to these beautiful people at this tragic time. To hear how much John loved Stryper and what Stryper meant to him is such an honor and I want to honor him now with this post. God bless you John and may you rest in the Lord’s arms eternally. May God bless your family and we are always there for you. -Michael Sweet (Stryper)

Rest In Peace @kjjfish1 John McAteer. John was a Hunnypot correspondent. He took amazing concert photos and did concert and album reviews for Hunnypot. He loved music so much and especially the hard rock stuff. We are going to miss you very much, John, This Stryper review was John's final post. -Hunnypot Unlimited

John McAteer

Photojournalist - Orange County

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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