Stryper – “Live At The Whisky”


Stryper - Live at the WhiskeyStryper need no real introduction, or at least very little introduction. They have had a huge influence and impact on the Christian rock and metal scene and without uncertainty can be labelled as one of the leading pioneers of the Christian metal scene.

Stryper are from Orange County, California, and currently the band members stand as Michael Sweet (lead vocals, guitar), Oz Fox (guitar), Tim Gaines (bass guitar), and Robert Sweet (drums). Formed in 1983 as as Roxx Regime, threw band soon changed their musical message to reflect their Christian beliefs, and the band name was also changed to Stryper. They are noted as the first Christian heavy metal band to have gained acceptance in the mainstream.

“Stryper enjoyed their most successful period beginning with the release of To Hell with the Devil, which achieved platinum sales status. Stryper went on to release two more gold albums before breaking up in 1992. In 2003, Stryper came out of retirement for a reunion tour and subsequently signed a multi-album contract with Big3 Records in 2005.” In 2013 they signed a multi-album deal with Frontiers Records, and have released an EP, Second Coming, which includes 14 re-recorded songs from their first three albums and an album, No More Hell to Pay, released on November 5, 2013”. . – Wikipedia

So a band that has been around as long as they have with as many hits and accolades they have achieved over the lifespan of their career, one would almost always come with a certain highly level of expectancy when listening to anything they release. After all they have set the bar. For Stryper, they have no shortage of classic songs to pull from their arsenal stash. So if they are to put together a collection of popular classics, there is that expectation you are about to be wowed out your Spandex.

Live at the Whisky is a definitive collection of classic Stryper hits lumped into a live performance recording. The beauty about the band is they are still a relevant force in the music arena and this package of classic hits will certainly see old fans raise a glass, and yet serves as an important introduction for any new fans to the sound that is Stryper.

Recorded at the Whisky a Go Go on Sunset Boulevard (In 1958, the first Whisky a Go-Go in North America opened in Chicago, Illinois, on the corner of Rush Street and Chestnut Streets. It has been called the first real Americandiscothèque. On 11 November 2011, Black Sabbath used the Whisky a Go-Go as the venue to announce their reunion – Wikipedia), Stryper cover some of their classics mixed in with a selection of recently recorded songs from their awesome, No More Hell to Pay release. An album of which affirms why they are still one of the best metal acts around, Christian or not, period.

It cannot be easy to keep trying to maintain the bar, especially in the face of critics and even excel beyond that with the kind of legacy that Stryper has forged for themselves over the last 30 years. I think from the fan side there will always be that expectation, and thus a far more critical audience at times. The thing is if you are in the public eye, you bound to have your fair share of critics. Their importance to heavy metal and particularly the Christian metal scene is very much evident just alone in the fact that they are still going after 30 years.

I am reviewing the audio disc, not the live DVD release just to lay the fact down here. Nevertheless on first listen what you get to hear translating in to a visual perspective is a band that after all these years is still tight and energetic, delivering a healthy dose of heavy metal awesomeness for your listening pleasure.

Now as I said there are expectations that one comes with regarding what one would expect from a quality Stryper album, and I think largely they cover their bases well here, delivering a stellar performance that old and new fans can sink their teeth into. I love live recordings, because largely that has escaped the manipulations of the studio, and are often the best representation of the ability of the band. You cannot easily cover up mistakes and add things etc…Thus you get the band often in its most naked and vulnerable form. Stryper excel here, and what they give is their trademark best. You have their twin guitar solos, you have Michael’s impressive vocalizations that pulverize the rooftops with his signature screams, and there are a couple here to drool over. The usual melodies that ring out with memorable effect, their usual anthemic charge bursts forth with sweetness and effectiveness throughout each song performance.

Ultimately Stryper is a band of performers of which after 30 years are still able to achieve an excellence that keeps fans coming for more, and in addition continue to add new fans to the fold. One needs to take into consideration, or at least into context the cd will be different to the DVD. Thus it will not be able to give the complete experience as captured on the DVD. Nevertheless the CD will offer many opportunities for one to sing out the many classic anthems of Stryper wherever you choose to play it.

Live at the Whiskey is a selection of classic Stryper for 75 minutes or more. There is no denying that this is an added necessity for any Stryper fan, old or new. It bellows with some of the finest metal music, encapsulating the classic, anthemic rock n roll that Stryper has been known to release over the past three decades.  Putting a whole lot of classic songs on one release can only equal one thing, a classic album release. The best part is that its live, so you get Stryper in the flesh so to speak, and they bring it with everything they got. This is an album that could stay glued into your stereo system for weeks on end playing on repeat. Don’t be shy, pump up the volume on this one.

Rating 9/10

Written by Donovan de Necker

Track Listing:
01 Legacy
02 Marching Into Battle
03 You Know What To Do
04 Loud And Clear
05 Reach Out
06 Calling on You
07 Free
08 More Than A Man
09 The Rock That Makes Me Roll
10 No More Hell To Pay
11 Jesus Is Just Alright
12 Always There For You
13 All For One
14 The Way
15 To Hell With The Devil
16 Soldiers Under Command

Band members:
Michael Sweet – vocals, guitar
Robert Sweet – drums, percussion
Oz Fox – guitar, vocals
Tim Gaines – bass, vocals

The Yellow and Black Attack” [1984]
“Soldiers Under Command” [1985]
“To Hell with the Devil” [1986]
“In God We Trust” [1988]
“Against the Law” [1990]
“Can’t Stop the Rock” [Compilation – 1991]
“7 Seven the Best of Stryper” [Compilation – 2003]
“7 Weeks : Live in America 2003” [Live – 2004]
“Reborn” [2005]
“Extended Versions” [Live – 2006]
“Greatest Hits – Live in Puerto Rico” [Live – 2007]
“The Roxx Regime Demos” [Compilation – 2007]”
“Murder by Pride” [2009]
“The Covering” [2011]
“Second Coming” [Compilation – 2013] (review)
“No More Hell to Pay” [2013] (review)
“Live At The Whisky” [2014]

Record Label: Frontiers Records, Sept. 2014

Weblinks: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Buy the album here:
First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

Video below “Live At The Whisky” (trailer)

One Reply to “Stryper – “Live At The Whisky””

  1. “The best part is that its live, so you get Stryper in the flesh so to speak, and they bring it with everything they got. ”
    Funny that you say so. To me, the one thing missing from the CD and DVD it is the live feel. E.g.: when Michael speaks to the crowd, you hear no buzzing of the crowd or people shouting something in between. All you hear is Michael and nothing else. It took away from the live feel. Nevertheless, still an enjoyable album but both the CD and DVD did not match the live feel I get during shows.

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