Stryper - 'No More Hell To Pay



Michael Sweet – Lead Vocals / Lead Guitar
Robert Sweet – Drums and Visual Timekeeping
Timothy Gaines – Bass / Vocals
Oz Fox – Lead Guitar / Vocals


1.) "Revelation" -The intro to this track opens with Michael and Oz playing the same lead guitar riff.  Underneath the lead guitar riff there is a full band music accent on the first and fourth note of the measure.  Robert uses his hi-hat to keep time on the second and third notes.  Over the top of the last measure of the intro Oz double-tracked a minor lead guitar solo.  This minor solo lead connected the intro with the musical verse.  The vocal lines of the verse was arranged were the odd lyric lines had an echo attached to them and then for the even lyric line Michael added a small vocal accent. These little vocal accents shows that even at fifty Michael could keep up vocally with any twenty year old!  The first lyric of the chorus had a backing vocal attached to it.  The rhythm guitar riffs that Michael and Oz wrote for this chorus had a very heavy feel to it.  Underneath the rhythm guitar of the chorus Timothy plays a couple very cool bass licks. There was a small musical rest that consisted of a floor tom fill connecting the first chorus with the second verse.  The choruses of this song are huge!  After the second chorus there is a lead guitar solo.  The coda consisted of the same musical arrangement as the intro.            

2.) "No More Hell To Pay" - Musically and lyrically this track was written perfectly!!!!
 3.) "Saved By Love" - This track opened with an intense lead guitar riff underneath Robert playing tom-tom fills.  Over the top of the intense lead guitar riff Michael sings a vocal accent.  Though there was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical verse the band kept the same intensity as the intro.  The band used the same rhythm guitar riff of the intro for the short musical choruses.  After the second chorus there was a very cool lead guitar solo that just blew me away!!!!  After the solo there was a chorus breakdown section.  After the breakdown there was a section lead guitar solo that ran over the top of the coda. 
4.) "Jesus Is Just Alright"  -"Jesus Is Just Alright" is a gospel song written by Arthur Reid Reynolds and first recorded by Reynolds' own group, The Art Reynolds Singers, on their 1966 album, 'Tellin' It Like It Is'.  The song was made famous in the seventies by the rock band The Doobie Brothers.
5.) "The One" - Stryper's ballad's have always blown me away and this one was no exception. 
6.) "Legacy" - This had to be the most intense song I think I have ever heard Stryper do.
7.) "Marching Into Battle" - This song was very intense which, is something I don't normally associate when I think of Stryper!
8.) "Te Amo" - This track just did not work for me.
9.) "Sticks & Stones" - There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of this musical arrangement.  Michael sang a vocal accent over the top of the minor solo.  The musical verse consisted of two different rhythm guitar arrangements.  The backing vocals of the chorus had a classic Stryper sound to them.  After the second chorus there was a very intense lead guitar solo.  The backing harmonies are just amazing!!!!!  Especially on the breakdown section!!!!  
10.) "Water Into Wine" - The intro to this track consisted of a rhythm guitar along with a tom-tom pattern.  The way the two were arranged gave this intro an early eighties sound.  There was a vocal accent connecting the musical intro with the musical verse.  There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical verse. The verse had a huge early eighties hook attached to it.  The choruses where amazing!  This was one of the best songs on the CD!  At times, you don't get to hear very often how great of a bass player Timothy is which on this song you can.   
11.) "Sympathy" - This was a straight forward rock song.

12.) "Renewed." -This track as like track eleven just more intense with a lotbetter backing harmonies.  This song also had a very intense twin lead guitar solo.

     'No More Hell To Pay' is Stryper's tenth studio release.  All the songs are written in minor keys thus giving the songs a little darker and tougher sound.  This is by far not only the band's heaviest release however, it is probably their best they have recorded to date.  Is every song on the album great?  Well, no and I think that is with every release.  One song in particular, "Te Amo" just does not work.  Of eleven original songs that is the only one that the band should have left off the release.  I'm not a Doobie Brother's fan and never liked the song "Jesus Is Just Alright" however, the version on this CD completely blew me away.  If you're a fan of Stryper's you will be very happy with this CD.