Photo by Florian Stangl

Photo by Florian Stangl

The strong acclaim that followed the release of Stryper‘s 2013 studio album ‘No More Hell to Pay‘ may have very well led to the progression found throughout their upcoming installment. What changed in the Stryper formula on ‘Fallen‘? Heavier riffs, broader vocal melodies and an overall ferocious attitude.

The previously released “Yahweh” and the title track “Fallen” were strong examples of this advancement from Stryper’s methodical approach, and the newly released “Big Screen Lies” only reinforces that point. Lead vocalist and guitarist Michael Sweet holds back somewhat from his arsenal of screams that surfaced on “Fallen” and instead strays close to a commendable operatic technique.

That doesn’t in any way take away from the collective performance found throughout; guitarist Oz Fox similarly hasn’t lost anything in his skills on the six string, whereas the backbone of bassist Tim Gaines and drummer Robert Sweet round out the lineup while attributing a concrete drive to the mid-tempo track.

“I don’t wanna scare any fans away or anything, but it’s gonna be the heaviest album we’ve done,” says lead vocalist Michael Sweet. “Not in the sense that it’s gonna be thrash metal or anything like that. It’s definitely got a little bit of a darker vibe to it lyrically and musically.

“Some of the songs are tuned down — not like the modern Drop B stuff; I’m talking like the E dropped to D, ‘Unchained’ Van Halen kind of stuff. And it’s just got a heavy sound to it. And I think when people hear it, in a good way, they’re gonna go, ‘That’s Stryper? What?’ I think they’re gonna be shocked.”

Sweet adds: “Sonically, I think this is our best-sounding album to date! Everything is crystal clear. The highs are crisp and the lows are tight and punchy. The more I listen, the more excited I am for all of you to hear it!”

Stryper’s new album ‘Fallen’ is due for release on October 16 via Frontiers Records, and includes a cover of Black Sabbath‘s “After Forever.”