Rather than subject yet another album of original material to the by now customary chorus of generalized abuse from the anything but God-fearing heavy metal community, the Lord's own leather-clad bumblebees, L.A.'s long-suffering Stryper, decided to produce an album of favorite covers for 2011's suitably named The Covering. One can almost imagine the "stryped" ones challenging: "Let's see those blasted heathens bash these beloved heavy metal classics!" And you know what? Well played, boys, well played.... Much as Michael Sweet's angelic, soaring vibrato remains a love-it-or-hate-it acquired taste (it's just too chorus-boy clear), who can really resist sneaking a listen to new interpretations of towering pillars of the metal genre like Black Sabbath's "Heaven and Hell," Deep Purple's "Highway Star" (keyboards included!), Iron Maiden's "The Trooper," Judas Priest's "Breaking the Law," and Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song"? Less obvious selections included here vary somewhat more between good (the Sweet's "Set Me Free," the Scorpions' "Blackout," UFO's "Lights Out," featuring a note-perfect Michael Schenker guitar solo karaoke) and not so good (Ozzy Osbourne's "Over the Mountain," Kiss' "Shout It Out Loud," and an eerily wooden stab at Van Halen's "On Fire"), but the only really odd choice is Kansas' "Carry on Wayward Son," for obvious reasons. If anything, these versions only sin (sorry, couldn't resist) for being too faithful to the original sources -- but then what more would you expect from a Christian metal band than, well, FAITH? And as proven by the lone original cut on hand, the closing "God," faith is something Stryper clearly has plenty of, no matter how marginalized their career has been by commercial misfortunes and constantly swimming against heavy metal's godless tide.
Performance CreditsStryper Primary Artist
Oz Fox Guitar,Vocals
Tim Gaines Bass Guitar,Vocals
Michael Sweet Guitar,Vocals
Robert Sweet Cymbals,Drums
Charles Foley Organ,Piano,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Technical CreditsGeezer Butler Composer
Bob Daisley Composer
Michael Sweet Producer
Danny Bernini Engineer
Bill Edwards Executive Producer
Richie "Britley" Hughes Art Direction
M. Sweet Composer
P. Stanley Composer
S. Harris Composer
G. Simmons Composer
Akaeli Ellis Graphic Design,Illustrations
Chris Parks Cover Illustration
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Covering based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Stryper shows their metal skills and hard rock prowest have not faded over their 25 years of recording and touring. If anything, with this most recent offering seems to have found a new cohesive and compelling voice. I would have preferred a project of originals, and I'm only slightly familiar with the original songs that they've covered, but Stryper owns them now. The covering comes right out of the shoot with Velvet Revolvers "Set Me Free", with Scorpions "Balckout" chasing hard on its heals, and the pace never slows down. Includes toure-de-force "Carry On Wayward Son", and the crazed guitar work of "Highway Star". The climax of the CD is the Stryper original, "God" which find Michael Sweet at his atmospheric best. When compared with Born Again and Murder By Pride, which are considered the beginning of their come back effort, this project has the best production values. Even the elusive drum tone is perfectly on target in this project. This is an all around satisfying listen for long time fans and new listeners. It's just an all around great rock CD. Good for long car trips when you are trying to stay awake, or when you need to rock out.