Sweet & Lynch – “Heart & Sacrifice”


Metal icons George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob) and Michael Sweet (Stryper) are back with the third release from their project which continues to keep the spirit of 80’s metal alive.

Michael Sweet and George Lynch pulled a band together with members from the likes of Whitesnake, White Lion, Megadeth, and Black Label Society  and released a debut album in 2015 which was met with a good critical response.  Two years later, they released the second album Unified, which was also met with a good response if not as positive as for the debut and now a few years later with new members taking over bass and drum duties, they have reunited to release the third album Heart & Sacrifice. New member Alessandro Del Vecchio assisted Michael Sweet on production duties.

As one might have expected given the two legends in the band, this is a loud and raucous rock-n-roll album that opens with a hard and heavy track complete with pounding drums and rhythm section, fast riffs and an early guitar solo fill before the vocals come in.  Michael Sweet does show some restraint in waiting until later in a verse section for a trademark scream while George Lynch has solos and fills throughout the song, which is exactly what I would expect and hope for.  The main guitar solo itself opens with some great strangled notes and continues on there in typical Lynch fashion.  New members Alessandro Del Vecchio and Jelly Cardarelli hold their own and provide a solid base for Lynch and Sweet to work their magic.  Production is better this time around compared to that on Unified at least to my ears and the overall sound has more of a rougher edge fitting the music better than the overly polished sound on Unified.

“Where I Have to Go” is a bit slower overall than the opening track but has some great builds and lot of guitar fills that work well with the soaring chorus.  From an arrangement and structure aspect, there is definitely a strong 80’s influence here and yet it doesn’t feel dated, owing a lot to the production and strong performances.

“Miracle” has a nice groove riff and much more restraint in terms of guitars and has a great sense of melody throughout the track, especially in the verse sections.  Despite the overall restraint shown, Lynch does manage to work in an extended guitar solo and some of the quieter parts allow Del Vecchio’s bass to come through.

Songs like “Leaving it All Behind” with its extended drum opening  and “You’ll Never Be Alone” with its drum and looping bass line in the verses bring back all the 80’s metal memories in a big way and the album becomes a fun trip down memory lane for some listeners.  Thankfully, there is a sense that the songs were brought into the current decade so they don’t have just cheesy nostalgia going for them.

As if one had to have a semi-acoustic guitar driven-track with a bit of a western vibe to it, “After All is Said and Done” shows up to check off that requirement.  Sweet’s vocals really work well with this style of track, so there is nothing to complain about.  “Give Up the Night” is one of those quieter tracks with verse sections driven along largely buy the bass and drum with some clean guitar seemingly in the background and nearly whispered vocals that wouldn’t be out of place on a power ballad if the song was slower.

As if to change things up completely, “Will it Ever Change” opens up with a heavy down-tuned guitar riff that quiets during the verse section again driven along by the rhythm section.  Sweet’s vocals on this track go from the quieter clean singing to more of a strong shouted style when the song gets heavier and in both cases matches well with the music. 

Until the last track, “World Full of Lies”, the album continues on in largely the same vein as it started.  I hate to say it, but I’m just not a fan at all of “World Full of Lies” which approaches the power ballad territory and ends up being a track easily skipped especially given its place at the end of the album.

While not a perfect album and not breaking new ground, Heart & Sacrifice does showcase not only the talents of Michael Sweet and George Lynch very well but also their ability to craft some catchy, enjoyable metal that works for both those who followed their bands in the 80s and those just now hearing the legends.

Rating: 8/10

Written by John Jackson


  1. Heart and Sacrifice
  2. Where I Have to Go
  3. Miracle
  4. Leaving it All Behind
  5. You’ll Never Be Alone
  6. After All I Said and Done
  7. Give up the Night
  8. Will it Ever Change
  9. It’s Time to Believe
  10. Every Day
  11. It Rains Again
  12. World Full of Lies

Band Members
Michael Sweet – Lead Vocals
George Lynch – Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio – Bass
Jelly Cardarelli – Drums

Release Date: May 19th. 2023

Record Label: Frontier Music

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Video for ‘Miracle’

Video for ‘Will it Ever Change’

Video for ‘Leaving it All Behind’

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