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1986 – Part 2.4: Stryper – To Hell With The Devil

I like Stryper. I never understood the crap they got because of their views on Christianity. Most interviews focused on that aspect and very rarely on the music.

“To Hell With The Devil” was released in 1986. It went platinum in the U.S, and it remained the best-selling Christian metal album until P.O.D.’s “Satellite” in 2001, which I also have.

To Hell With The Devil

The drum beat from Robert Sweet is simple but powerful. The chord structure is standard Am to F to G, but the guitar leads and harmonies make it unique.

How good are just the vocals and drums in the first verse?

And make sure you check out the leads from Oz Fox and Michael Sweet.

Calling On You

The lead break reminds me of “Sweet Child O Mine” but this was released before.

I’m always a sucker for melodic rock songs like this.

Free

It’s the same message as “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, “Stand Up And Shout” and the like.

The Intro lead break gets me playing air guitar and they end the song with it, just in a different key.

They even borrowed from “Reason For The Season” for the vocal melody.

Honestly

It just wasn’t my thing. The sound of the piano reminded me of the music in TV shows I didn’t like.

But it sold the album.

The Way

The Judas Priest and Iron Maiden influences of Oz Fox are shining through on the riffs here. A metal tour de force.

Sing-Along Song

It’s got that “Turbo Lover” feel in the Intro/verse.

Holding On

It’s “Hungry For Heaven” in the Intro and the Chorus harmonies are straight from the grooves on the Boston record.

Rockin’ The World

The Intro/Verse is familiar, but I can’t remember from where.

All Of Me

My least favorite track leads into my favorite track.

More Than A Man

If you like “Lights Out” from UFO, you will like this. The F#m groove is at the heart of both songs.

The lead break at the start also borrows from “Soldiers Under Command”.

And the main lead break is guitar hero worthy.

To Hell With The Devil I say.

Check em out.

Standard

7 thoughts on “1986 – Part 2.4: Stryper – To Hell With The Devil

  1. First real metal song I ever heard- I was surfing radio stations late at night in 86/87 and this came on- then barren cross after it… was blown away!! Looking at the song names now – they seem so weak and emotional – but listen to them and they’re heavy as. Anyway a great album- recently got it on vinyl- album artwork is very metal

  2. Such a great album. To Hell With The Devil and The Way were so heavy and brutal. Just as good as anything else that was out there. These guys got such a bad rap and so underserved. What is amazing is that Michael Sweet’s voice is still that good, if not better 40 years later.

  3. I bought this at the time it came put as they were getting a ton of press in the mags. I also bought on CD Against The Law. I tried but Sweets vocals I cannot get into. Talented guy no doubt as I have tried even those other 75 bands he’s part of and still no go. So Stryper for me is a pass.
    I will say though he was good when I saw him with Boston when they showed up here with the Home Depot guy singing.lol

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