Stryper – ‘The Covering’

Released through Big3 Records in 2011


THE BAND:
Michael Sweet -vocals/guitar
Oz Fox –guitar
Tim Gaines –bass
Robert Sweet – drums


TRACK FRAGMENTS:
1.) “Set Me Free” – Sweet-Taken off of Sweet’s ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’ released in April of 1974.
2.)“Blackout” - Scorpions – Taken from The Scorpions ‘Blackout’ released March 29, 1982.
3.) “Heaven and Hell” - Black Sabbath – Taken from Black Sabbath’s ‘Heaven and Hell’ released April 25, 1980.
4.) “Lights Out” – UFO – Taken off of UFO’s ‘Light’s Out’ released in may 1977.
5.) “Carry On My Wayward Son” - Kansas – Taken from Kansas’s ‘Leftover’ released October 1976.
6.) “Highway Star” - Deep Purple  - Taken from Deep Purple’s ‘Machine Head’ released March 1, 1971.
7.) “Shout It Out Loud” - Kiss – Taken from Kiss’s ‘Destoyer’.
8.) “Over The Mountain” - Ozzy Osbourne  - Taken from Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Diary Of A Madman released in 1982.
9.) “The Trooper” - Iron Maiden – Taken from Iron Maiden’s ‘Piece Of Mind’ released June 20, 1983.
10.)“Breaking The Law” - Judas Priest – Taken from Judas Priest’s ‘British Steel’ released in 1880.
11.)“On Fire” - Van Halen – Released on Van Halen’s self-titled LP released February 10, 1977.
12.) “Immigrant Song” - Led Zeppelin – Taken off of Led Zeppelin ‘III’ released November5, 1970.
13.) “God” –Original Stryper song -   This track opens with a very simple intro arrangement.  There is a minor lead guitar solo over top of the intro arrangement.  The minor solo actually consisted of two different minor solos with a lead vocal accent in the middle.  At the end of the intro there is a small Robert Sweet Tom-tom fill.  There is a Michael Sweet lead vocal line connecting the musical intro with the musical verse.  For the first four lyric lines the only time there is music arrangement is just a couple of notes used to connect the next line.  I felt Michael had Ronnie James Dio in mind when writing these lyrics.  They just have an eerie Dio feel to them.  Robert switches from a standard hi-hat pattern to a rhytm on his tom-toms for the musical chorus.  For this second the band kind of lays back letting Rob’s drums carry the music.  There is a music change fot the musical verse.  The backing vocal harmonies of the chorus are classic Stryper!..There is a minor solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse.  Just to through things off a little for the opening of the second chorus the band incorporate a keyboard riff.  There is a classical Yngwie Malmsteen influenced lead guitar solo.  This may very well be the best solo Oz Fox has ever written.      

Roxx Regime was formed in Orange County, California by brothers Michael and Robert Sweet along with guitarist Oz Fox.  The name Stryper was adopted when bassist Tim Gaines joined the band.  The name Stryper stands for Salvation Through Redemption Yielding Peace, Encouragement and Righteousness.  The Isaiah 53.3 under their logo is the bible verse that states "by His stripes we are healed".  Between 1984-1986 Stryper released four christen based albums titled ‘The Yellow And Black Attack’ (1984), ‘Soldiers Under Command’ (1985), ‘To Hell With The Devil’ (1986) and ‘In God We Trust’ (1988).  In 1990, the band released their fifth release titled' Against the law'. ‘Against The Law’ was drastically different in not only sound and image. While their earlier albums all had yellow and black colors in the covers and the lyrics spoke of God and salvation,' Against The Law’ featured the band with black leather clothes and was no mention of the word God in the lyrics at all.  Due to poor record sales Michael Sweet chose to leave the band in February of 1992 citing created artistic differences.   In 2000 the first “Styper Expo” was held in New Jersey.  This expo snd re-union sparked the band to re-unite and begin working on what would become 2004’s ‘Reborn’. In 2009 the band released ‘Murder By Pride’.
Stryper’s new release contains 12 covers songs, and one original track. It was refreshing to see that the cover songs the band chose were songs that most bands don't choose when picking cover songs to record.  Usually can't be an original song however in this case Stryper has done a fantastic job.  The new track titled, “God” is classic Stryper!!!!