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Stryper > 7: The Best of Stryper > Reviews
Stryper - 7: The Best of Stryper

Back for good - 80%

kluseba, December 19th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2003, CD, Hollywood Records

7: The Best of Stryper marked the return of Christian-themed heavy metal veterans Stryper who reunited after a long absence of eleven years from the metal scene. The band released two new songs and this was the first time the original four members of the group recorded together in twelve years. In addition to these songs, this album features the original versions of sixteen tracks recorded between Stryper's The Yellow and Black Attack EP back in 1984 and its first compilation and last release of the early years entitled Can't Stop the Rock that came out in 1991.

The two new songs show a band that doesn't sound old-fashioned at all and actually followed the development of rock and metal music despite its absence. The mid-paced ''Something'' flirts with nu metal trademarks and could have been released by a band like Drowning Pool. The slower and mellower ''For You'' has radio airplay potential and isn't a far cry from early Nickelback. Traditional heavy metal fans might be worried reading this statement but the two tracks work surprisingly well. If a band comes back after such a long absence just to worship its own past, it shouldn't reunite in the first place. It's great to hear that Stryper was eager to walk off the beaten path and add new soundscapes to its charismatic style. Bassist Timothy Gaines wouldn't walk that path with the band and left Stryper after its reunion tour. The band however would turn out to be there to stay and even Timothy Gaines ended up returning to the band four years later. Today, Stryper can rightfully be considered among the best traditional heavy metal bands to still be active.

The sixteen tracks from the band's early years really showcase its different soundscapes. Power ballads like ''Calling on You'' meet joyful up-tempo rock songs like ''Makes Me Wanna Sing''. Epic heavy metal anthems like ''Soldiers Under Command'' meet songs inspired by early power metal stylistics like ''In God We Trust''. The band also included one of its most underrated songs with ''Believe'', an epic rock song dedicated to the American troops fighting in the Persian Gulf War and their faith. I neither support war nor religious propaganda but this epic and uplifting song is absolutely brilliant and actually my favourite track on this release.

7: The Best of Stryper would turn out being a successful comeback release. It's a good way to get introduced or reintroduced to one of the greatest traditional heavy metal bands that is still active. The re-recorded versions of the band's early years in form of Second Coming released ten years after this output are even better though because they sound much more energetic.