Iconic rock outfit Stryper is set to release The Final Battle (Frontiers Music Srl), the band’s fourteenth studio album. Showcasing hard-charging songs filled with crunchy guitar riffs, full-throated vocals and soaring melodies, the album reminds listeners that the seasoned foursome continues to produce divinely inspired music with enduring excellence.
“I could not be more pleased with how the project turned out,” says lead vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter Michael Sweet. “Against all odds and with many obstacles, we were able to deliver a powerful album with an energy unlike any other.
Speaking of obstacles, Sweet explains one of the challenging circumstances encountered during the songwriting process.
“Trying to stay on schedule, I continued to write the album lyrics as I was lying face down for two weeks recovering from surgery,” he says. “I kept thinking to myself, how is this possible? And then I was reminded of the Scripture from Matthew 19:26: ‘But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’”
With The Final Battle, which gives a nod to the biblical Battle of Armageddon, Stryper displays its resilience and ability to rise to the occasion once again. From the pulsating tempo of “Transgressor” to the driving resonance of “See No Evil, Hear No Evil,” the band unleashes anthemic tunes that stay true to its foundation while extending its relevance to the modern soundscape.
The rollicking timbre evidenced in “Rise to the Call,” a song about remaining strong and courageous in the faith, will have listeners singing along with the chorus and nodding their heads in affirmation. Hook-laden tune “Same Old Story” merges classic and modern tones and takes hearers on an unexpected aural journey.
The project’s most definitively spiritual track, “The Way, The Truth, The Life,” is presented from the first-person perspective of Jesus (“I am The Way and The Truth/I am The Life to be/No one comes to The Father/Except only through Me”).
Inspired by Michael Sweet’s wife, Lisa, striking power ballad “Near” reveals poignant lyrics like these: “That’s why I need you to be anywhere but far away, my dear/You are one who makes me whole/I trust with all my body and soul/Darling, I love you/I need you to know.”
Song themes range from celebrating God’s love and mercy to finding respite in Him during difficult times. The band also does not shy away from issuing a timely warning to those who rebel against God.
“We have faced many trials and tribulations, but somehow we are able to rise to the top and do our best,” Sweet says. “We have done our best with this album, and it is a true testimony to our faith and our perseverance.”
When it comes to groundbreaking bands in the Christian hard-rock genre, Stryper is renowned for its distinctive brand of “heavenly metal,” extraordinary crossover success and venerable endurance. The group ascended to prominence in the 1980s with Billboard Top 40 hits like “Calling on You,” “Honestly” and “Always There for You.”
Stryper’s career album sales exceed 10 million worldwide, including 1986’s multiplatinum release To Hell with the Devil. The band also made history when it notched two songs simultaneously in MTV’s Top 10 with videos “Free” and “Honestly.”
Today, close to 40 years after emerging from the southern California nightclub scene, the foursome continues to record, tour and perform for devoted fans around the globe. Comprising three original members including brothers Michael Sweet and Robert Sweet (drums), Oz Fox (guitar) and newest bandmate, veteran bassist Perry Richardson (formerly of Firehouse), the group finds itself continuing to create their finest, most powerful music yet.