Even The Devil Believes Review Posted August 14, 2020 By RyanAdams_NRT, Staff Reviewer
What You Need To Know Even The Devil Believes is Stryper's 13th studio album. The music veterans continue to build upon modern rock influences while maintaining Stryper's signature sound fans have grown to love over their 35 years. This is the first album to feature Perry Richardson, former bassist of classic rock band FireHouse, on bass and background vocals. Michael Sweet, Stryper's lead singer, says about the writing of the project, "This album was recorded during the pandemic. And, I believe the message pertains to the times we're living in so perfectly. It's a recording of hope and inspiration, and a light in the darkest of times."
What It Sounds Like Even The Devil Believes has some of Stryper's best music and vocals. In the last decade, Stryper—and even Michael Sweet's solo music—have found their strengths in the modern rock and metal scene. The albumis filled with melodic, harmony-laden choruses that their fans know and love. Michael Sweet leads most verses, which excitingly build-up to the choruses. The musicianship is some of the best in recent years, too. We hear energetic drumming and powerful guitar work (there is a guitar solo in every song). This album has a similar modern rock sound, which is similar to Stryper's past few albums, as well as Michael Sweet's last two solo albums.
Spiritual Highlights One of Stryper's many earned names over the years is "heavenly metal." This name accurately describes their style of music. Every song is filled with great, biblical content coupled with fantastic metal music. The John 3:16 based song "Let Him In" and the crucifixion-based narrative "Blood From Above" are just a few examples. The band often has one or two songs that can be controversial (their mega-hit from the 80s, "To Hell With The Devil" is a great example. "Middle Finger Messiah" carries the controversy for this album. On the chorus, Michael Sweet sings "The world flips him off/Like a Pariah/He's The Middle Finger Messiah." The terminology is the controversial part, but lyrically it, along with the rest of the song, is theologically sound. Stryper remains unashamed of their faith and I love that.
Best Song The first single released for Even The Devil Believes is the opening song for the album, "Blood From Above." It's simply one of the best songs on the album. It does not divert from the overall formula that the rest of the album follows, rather, it executes it perfectly. From the commanding drums on the opening verse paired with Michael Sweet's signature scream, the song meets my expectations. The chorus utilizes the harmony of vocals well to send home the powerful message that sings "A righteous murder scene of love/Flowing down grace/In The Blood From Above."
Bottom Line Michael Sweet's singing and screams are top-notch. The musicianship from other band members Perry Richardson, Oz Fox, and Robert Sweet complement each other throughout the album. The formula for each song is somewhat predictable, losing some creativity and diversity, but at the same time, it is expected. After 35 years, the members of Stryper, new and old, still show great passion for rock and roll and Jesus.