4 musical missionaries making meaningful music! Love the new tracks on "Murder by Pride". Lyrics have matured. The music they've mastered to create great tracks like "4 Leaf Clover" and "Mercy Over Blame". Great to see Timothy Gaines and the original crew together again. Critics may discourage and condemn. Remember the words of our LORD, "Do not stop him (or them)," Jesus said, "for whoever is not against you is for you." Praying Stryper keeps putting out music that continues to reach the masses that are lost in the mixed messages of musical mayhem.
This is another excellent album from Stryper, equal to the "Reborn" album released in 2005. There are 12 tracks on the album with quality cuts like "Love Is Why", "Everything" and "My Love I'll Always Show". Michael Sweet still after 25+ years has those searing vocals, an offering as praise to the LORD. Another track, called "Peace Of Mind" feature's Boston's Tom Scholz which is Ã¢â¬Ëmore than a feeling'. This track reminds us that our goal as Christians is to be faithful, not successful, in this world that is full of competition. As we are faithful = we have Peace Of Mind. Brilliant album.
When Stryper re-united and announced plans for a new album in 2005, I couldn't wait for the release of REBORN. I found myself disappointed, however, with the production quality of the album and felt many of the songs were not up to par for one of the best rock/metal bands from the 80s. Enter this second "new" recording and I have 2 words to say: Welcome back. This is the Stryper I've been waiting for!! MURDER BY PRIDE is a much better recording than REBORN and highlights several of the things that were missing from that album: mesmerizing guitar solos & guitar licks from Oz Fox, crisper drum-sounds (courtesy of "visual time-keeper," Robert Sweet), and pounding bass (you can actually hear Tracy Ferrie now without having to strain your ears). The thing I probably like best though are Michael Sweet's vocals. From the high piercing screams on some of the harder rock songs (the note he hits on "Four Leaf Clover" just about gives me the chills) to the sheer power of his voice on "I Believe" (maybe the best rock song I've ever heard with a chorus of just four words), to the haunting tones of the rock-ballad "Alive," this album show-cases Michael's astounding vocal talents. Out of the 12 songs on this album, the only mediocre one is "Mercy Over Blame" (musically, it's quite repetitive and lacks the "punch" that the other songs have). "4-Leaf Clover" and "Murder by Pride" are among the best hard-rock songs ever recorded by Stryper, and the rest of the songs leave you wanting very little. I also like the fact that Stryper stretched out with some different sounds this time around. The piano/acoustic guitar sounds on "Alive" and "Run in You" sound really good, and the cover of Boston's "Peace of Mind" is an amazing combination of retro guitar-sounds, great vocal harmonies & alternating 1/3 and 2/4 drum-timing. "Run in You" has one of the catchiest pop/rock choruses I've heard in recent memory (I find myself humming the chorus hours after listening to it), and musically it sounds like something from U2's HOW TO DISMANTLE AN ATOMIC BOMB. While MURDER BY PRIDE is, in many ways, a return to the strengths of their 80s material, the ironic thing is that it sounds more modern than REBORN. REBORN felt like it was Stryper trying to sound modern, whereas this album feels like it's Stryper just being themselves, but progressed like you would expect a great band to progress over time. Oh, one more thing - when I was listening to some of the songs I kept thinking, "This sounds like something I've heard before" (the background vocals, specifically). Maybe it's just me, but I swear some of the multi-layered harmonies on these songs sound a lot like Queen (think "Bohemian Rhapsody," etc.). All in all, this is a really, really good rock album. When I bought REBORN four years ago, I listened to it a lot for a month or two, but haven't listened to it much since. I can tell you right now I'll be listening to MURDER BY PRIDE for a long time.
I like Christian hardcore music if it actually has spiritual Christian words to it, and this is a classic in my book. Very edifying and God exalting lyrics, makes you seriously look at your relationship with God.