Fireworks

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Stryper - 'Live At The Whisky' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/f4/43/6c/stryper-live-at-the-whisky-80-1419547637.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 25, 2014    
 
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They're still a classy live act and far more Metallic than they've ever been given credit for.

The prolific releases just keep on coming from the evergreen original line-up of Stryper, this time a live CD and DVD from the tour in support of the well received 2013 'No More Hell To Pay' album. Recorded in their home city of Los Angeles at the world famous Whisky A Go-Go – one of the clubs on the Sunset Strip where they first started playing over thirty years ago – the band proving that they're one of the few from that era who haven't deteriorated with time.

The new album has freshened up the set-list no end, the yellow and black attack eschewing recent opener 'Sing-Along Song' in favour of 'Legacy' and 'Marching Into Battle', two of the heavier songs from the latest record. In terms of musicianship the band are faultless, both Oz Fox and singer Michael Sweet are exceptional guitar players and singers, with Sweet's ability as a greatly underrated guitarist matched only by Fox's similarly unlauded singing voice. Robert Sweet's drum sound is a little flat on this recording, made worse by the quietness of Tim Gaines' bass in the mix, but that's the only problem as they rip through a set that includes more new songs in the title track and the storming cover of 'Jesus Is Just Alright', along with the welcome return of the debut EP's 'You Know What To Do' with those amazing three part harmonies. Other highlights include the wonderful guitar parts in 'All For One' from the controversial 'Against The Law' and an encore of 'To Hell With The Devil' and 'Soldiers Under Command'.

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I think it's fair to say that the accompanying DVD of the same show certainly lacks a bit of atmosphere, the small venue being inadequate to house the band's usual array of equipment, although it's interesting to see Robert Sweet playing in a more conventional position than his side-on, visual timekeeper tradition, even if you can't see him that well because Michael Sweet's amps go across the front of the drums. There's been a bit of post-production work going on too, with rhythm guitar added when Michael Sweet clearly isn't playing, a few vocals seem to have been fixed and the small crowd is all but completely absent during the usual participation spots. Other than those the only other difference is that some of the song introductions have been shortened or left out on the CD, as is the prayer and the throwing out of bibles. The Whiskey isn't an ideal place for them to play these days but they're still a classy live act and far more Metallic than they've ever been given credit for.

Phil Ashcroft

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