“Reborn” by Stryper

Artist: Stryper
Title: “Reborn”
Label: Big3 Records”
Release Date: 8/16/2005
Genre: Christian Metal
Rating: 7.5/10

Though Stryper has released the albums “7: Best Of Stryper” and “7 Weeks Live In America” it has been 14 years since the Soldiers Under Command have recorded an album of new material. The year 2005 would be a special one for the Brothers Sweet and Oz Fox for not only is a new CD ready for their fans but they also come featuring a new member. Not long after the release of the live CD, bassist Tim Gaines decided to leave the group. He is replaced by the talented Tracy Ferrie who adds a different edge of bass playing to the already tight lineup. The band sounds just as heavy as they came across on “Soldiers Under Command” and deliver the level of harmony and musicality you would find on “To Hell With The Devil”. I felt that these two earlier releases helped influence and add to the sounds that you will find on the new CD entitled “Reborn”. The new release continues along the bands beliefs and message of Hope and Faith in the Lord. Of the memorable tracks on the album “Reborn” is pretty self-explanatory while my favorites are “Passion” and “Open Your Eyes”. Each one of these tunes containing the powerful style and big sound that normally was expected and received in Stryper music. “In God We Trust” appears once again from the album of the same name on the new CD. This version is more modern and flows along with the sound on “Reborn” more than the big 80’s sound the 1988 version had. I find it interesting when bands choose to update existing tracks or bring older songs into the now. Stryper should try that with their hits as I think it would work for them.

The band sadly got lumped into the “hair band” classification back in the early days but beyond their peers was their musical expertise and uniqueness. To this day Robert Sweet proves he is one of the most solid and powerful Hard Rock drummers in the business. Vocal wise, Michael Sweet’s voice is as pure as it was some 20 years ago. I found Michael playing a lot more guitar alongside Oz Fox on the record and that allows for better content in the axe area. Tracy Ferrie’s bass work seemed a lot more technical in his level of play than his predecessor Gaines. Original fans might welcome him a little more based on that. The CD is well-produced and comes with an eerily illustrated cover of the guys coated in a slimy substance. The band notes on the CD that “no matter how hard we strive to free ourselves from the slime and the sin that consumes us, only God can set us free”. My only disappointment was the lack of lyrics to the songs on the many page foldouts. I liked the CD as a regular fan of the group and can attest that while the band remains strong in their faith this CD does not shove it in your face. There is a message and a point inside and you are left with the choice to make. Anyone can enjoy most of this CD and I recommend you at least give it a listen.

Track Listing:
1. Open Your Eyes
2. Reborn
3. When Did I See You Cry
4. Make You Mine
5. Passion
6. Live Again
7. If I Die
8. Wait For You
9. Rain
10. 10,000 Years
11. I.G.W.T. (In God We Trust)

Official Web site: www.Stryper.com

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