|Stryper Reborn||MTM Music / Big 3 Records|
Stryper's first studio album in some 15 years reveals a different band that we last heard on Against The Law.|
That album itself was a lot different than their earliest work and proved the band were willing and able to move with the times.
Here's that ever present problem again – how does a band reform after such a long period of time and remain relevant, yet still deliver something fans that have waited patiently for will appreciate – without sounding like dinosaurs?!The answer is as hard to find as the number of bands that have successfully revived themselves, but in this case, Stryper might have just pulled it off.
Reborn sees the band supporting vastly updated sound – heavier than ever and darker and more contemporary too – giving them every chance of appealing to a new audience, but familiar enough to keep the old.
I compare this album very closely to Europe's comeback album from last year – Start From The Dark. The album features the same production sound, updated for the new millennium and noticeably heavier and darker than before – just as Europe did.
But Europe fell short by including a few filler songs and not featuring quite enough of their past in their current work.
Stryper have carried over a little more of their past personality into this record – especially on the choruses, with layered harmonies and the knack of remembering an all important hook to hang the song on.
Not being a general fan of the band – I only own the very good Against The Law album – I was not depending on anything other than some catchy songs and the guys deliver that. In fact, I'm surprised how much l like most of the tracks on the album, which I guess is a very positive sign for the quality of the material.
Opening with a bang and tough rocking approach, Open Your Eyes shows a new intensified sound that gives way to a great chorus.
Reborn is a lot darker again and features some of the heaviest riffs I have heard from the band. But another strong chorus helps the appeal of the song.
The mid-tempo rock ballad Make You Mine has great emotion and features another strong chorus over riding a very contemporary sound.
Passion is another ballad-esque number with intensity and appeal.
Other highlights include the modern rock anthem If I Die and the old-meets-new ballad Rain.
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