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STRYPER Live At The Whisky

By Charlie Steffens aka Gnarly Charlie, Writer/Photographer
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 @ 5:37 PM


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STRYPER
Live At The Whisky
Frontiers Records





STRYPER hit the hard rock scene more than 30 years ago and Hollywood’s fabled Sunset Strip was the band’s playground. Back then, when they called themselves ROXX REGIME, four pretty dudes wearing spandex and mascara wasn’t out of the norm. But a metal band that loudly professed its faith, throwing bibles into the audience, was as radical as Ozzy Osbourne biting a bat’s head off. Christians and non-Christians alike were aghast. Yet, STRYPER achieved mainstream success in the mid-80s, garnering a worldwide fan base. They had more than a gimmick; they were as “heavy metal” as any or their contemporaries. Then the downturn began in the early 90s with the emergence of grunge. STRYPER’s MTV airplay went dark, along with every other hair band, ad nauseum.

Live At The Whisky, recorded in November 2013 at the Whisky a Go Go on that same Sunset Strip, was released September 23rd in CD/DVD format. Live At The Whisky is a CD/DVD package that documents the intimate performance in the same room where THE DOORS, JIMI HENDRIX, and LED ZEPPELIN performed.

History aside, this live recording affirms that STRYPER have stayed true to the hard and heavy roots that made them. One of the biggest draws of STRYPER’s music is the incomparable style and sound of the Michael Sweet/Oz Fox guitar duo. That sound comes across well throughout the album, and it’s often hard to differentiate the two players. “Marching Into Battle” shows Sweet and Fox laying scorching guitar work. Drummer Robert Sweet and bassist Tim Gaines—both original members—provide a colossal rhythm for the varied set of songs, including a few songs from the recent album. The DVD shows the onstage physicality of the rockers, most notably Robert Sweet’s attack. “More Than A Man”, with its galloping IRON MAIDEN-like rhythm, puts everything that’s STRYPER all together in an ultra-tight barrage, ending with Sweet’s trademark scream. The set list includes a few songs from last year’s No More Hell To Pay record, including a cover of the DOOBIE BROTHERS“Jesus Is Just Alright”.

Live At The Whisky is a must-have for any STRYPER fan and anyone who can appreciate a brand of guitar-driven, melodic rock.

4.0 Out Of 5.0

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