Thursday, July 26, 2012


Murder by Pride
(Big 3 Records)

I'm currently en route with
my BFF Jason and a crew from
Merritt Island, Florida to cover
tonight's Stryper concert at the
House of Blues in Orlando. And
as I'm amping up, preparing to
see one of my all-time favorite bands,
I recalled a nearly-forgotten review
of their Murder by Pride record that
wrote for the popular online arts
and culture magazine,
back in the fall of 2009. I did a quick
Google search and there it was,
my long-lost gem. For those of you
who may have missed it the first
time, here's an instant replayFYI,
my official review of tonight's show
will post on Ink 19 in a few days.

Stylistically falling somewhere between 1988's over-produced, titanic In God We Trust and 2005's awkwardly grunge-y Reborn lies Stryper's latest, Murder by Pride. Produced by frontman / guitarist Michael Sweet and Danny Bernini, this chunk of solid rock combines the band's longtime Christian message with loads of signature ear-splitting riffs and offers another dozen bold, hard-hitting, soon-to-be classics.

In-your-face skull crushers such as "4 Leaf Clover" and "The Plan" perfectly exemplify a band that's musically in tune with today's ever-changing rock scene while remaining true to its old school roots. However, despite a penchant for creating high-octane nut-busters, Stryper has never been a musical one trick pony. In fact, the two real Cracker Jack prizes found inside of Murder by Pride, "Alive" and "Run in You," are true-blue, bona fide power ballads  only this time without a saccharine after-taste.

Another record highlight is the remake of Boston's 1976 hit "Peace of Mind." Featuring a cameo performance by the song's creator, guitar legend Tom Scholz, Stryper takes this rock staple and uniquely makes it their own.

From their platinum-selling glory days of the late 1980s to their heartbreaking meltdown in the early 1990s, these reunited "soldiers" have experienced their fair share of career highs and lows over the last 25 years. However, in 2009, Murder by Pride proves Stryper to be as relevant and important as ever.

-Christopher Long
(October 2009)

The latest from author Christopher Long
is available NOW on Amazon.

Also from Christopher Long...
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