Sunbomb – “Evil and Divine”


Stryper’s Michael Sweet and L.A. Guns’ Tracii Guns have come together to collaborate on Sunbomb, with “Evil and Divine” being their first album released via Frontier Music on May 14, 2021. The idea was initiated when Serafino Perugino, president and A&R director of the label reached out to Tracii and Michael, with the idea of a heavy metal album where Tracii wrote the songs and Michael was asked to add to the vocal duties. Although both the bands have had their unique styles and different political/religious standpoints, a collaboration would be of keen interest to the fans, as we hear influences of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest with hints of Doom Metal influence on the album.

I had my apprehensions but more than that I was curious and intrigued to hear the album, so I spun off the album which opened up with “Life”. An interesting guitar riff kicks off the song and a tremendous energy is felt right at the outset, in no time we hear Michael unleashing his tremendous vocal range as we breeze through the song, uplifted; the blitzing guitar solo brings the delivery a notch higher. “Take me away” reminded me off Black Sabbath, the song, an omnipresent Doom beginning with a haunting vocal delivery which quivers and wavers and jolts you out of your stupor, and the melting guitar solo that’s sure to sweep you off your feet.

Michael unleashes some crazed squeals in “Better End”, a catchy guitar riff drives the song forward and adds much meat on the song, I liked how Michael and Tracii level it out in a competing attempt to hit high notes towards the end of the song. “No Tomorrows” has an upbeat vibe with explosive amounts of energy that’s going to set you grooving and quite a crafty interlude that leads on to a crunchy guitar solo followed by Michael pelting out high pitched squeals one after the other. “Born to Win” starts off with guitar chops that’s definitely going to teleport you to late 70s, and is such a song best enjoyed with the volume cranked all the way up and hair let loose all the way down, if you get my drift. No comparisons though, the song did remind me a bit of “Good times Bad Times” by Led Zeppelin.

“Evil and Divine” takes a bit of a thrash turn, the guitar riffs run parallel to the ecstatic drum, the vocals add tremendous colour and depth to the overall sound. “Been Said And Done” as the ballad on the album, comes off pleasant supplemented with a mellow guitar solo that showcases great song-writing prowess and maturity, and loved how the Vocal and guitar melody culminates the song. “Stronger Than Before” has an amazing groovy guitar riff that’s sure to get you moving, and the transition from the intro to the verse and to the chorus is seamless and awe inspiring. I love the way how Michael leaves no stone unturned and takes every opportunity to showcase his tremendous range, and also how Tracii pulls a classic rollicking guitar solo to his credit.

I wont truly call this a Doom Metal album, as I felt a lot of sub genres getting pulled throughout. Well with “Story Of The Blind” we get hints of old school heavy metal, with high tempos and a blitzing guitar solo speeding through the breadth of the song. “World Gone Wrong” brings the tempo lower to realms of Doom metal, and Michael pairs the vocal delivery and blends right in. The collaboration comes to an end with “They Fought”, which feels straight out of the thrashy 80s. Something that’ll catch your attention would be the riffing and chopping throughout the verse and the running bassline that adds so much colour to an otherwise bass deficient album.

Production – The production on this album was amazing, I loved how everything on this album was raw and in your face, and this has to be the tightest line-up in the recent times.

Conclusion – What can I say more than what I’ve said already, I am glad I got to hear this collaboration and hoping to hear more from the gents. A word to the fans, Go Buy!

Rating: 8.5/10

Written by: Ankit Sood

Band Members :
Tracii Guns – Guitars
Michael Sweet – Vocals
Adam Hamilton – Drums
Mitch Davis – Bass
Johnny Martin – Bass (on “We Fought”)

Tracklist :

  1. Life
  2. Take Me Away
  3. Better End
  4. No Tomorrows (stream)
  5. Born To Win
  6. Evil And Divine (stream)
  7. Been Said And Done
  8. Stronger Than Before
  9. Story Of The Blind
  10. World Gone Wrong
  11. They Fought

Video below: ‘Better End’

Video for ‘Life’

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