To Hell With the Devil
12/19/2003 - Review by: Frank Hill
Stryper - To Hell With the Devil - 1986 - Reviewed by Nailer
I grew up in the 80's, so I knew who Stryper was and when the fuckin opportunity arose to buy their 1986 release "To Hell With the Devil" for a dollar, I thought "Shit, a buck isn't bad for a whim. If I'm going to give all the Satan-lovers an hour of my musical fuckin time, I might as well be open minded and give the Bible thumpers a moment or two, also. Neither one of them really cut any ice with me."
Even though they came out during the alcohol-soaked, sex-fueled 80's, you never heard Stryper talking about partying with Jack Daniels or seen them hanging with star-eyed, band-shagging groupies. Well, you might have, but I'm sure it was to convert them to the viceless side of life. They were the "good guys" in a hedonistic scene where a man's dick was the wellspring of his hapiness, otherwise known as the good old days.
I tried not to laugh when I opened the cover sleeve, but damn, I couldn't fuckin help it. They had the big-ass hair and the pouty look of the other pretty boys of the L.A. glam scene. In addition, Stryper sported yellow and black outfits like racing jumpsuits and spandex leotards...whatever. Pretty comical that they would think it would help bring them success because B. Brian Blair and Jumpin' Jim Brunzell never got to hold the WWF World Tag Team titles.
Satan's little helpers they weren't, but these guys took a big fuckin chance at the time. They were despised by the "real" evil-loving headbangers and not trusted by by their own religious leaders. Still, the 'yellow and black attack' went platinum.
So, how does it stand up musically? These guys weren't too far off from the other poser stuff from the likes of Ratt with a bit of the worst of Air Supply. Of course, every song is about JEEZ-US or has something to do with being a better person. Does it make me so bad that on cold days I pull my car up for hitchhikers then speed off when they get near the door handle? Fuck them, they should be splitting a heating grate with some bum or under a bridge and out of the cold.
Michael Sweet's vocals are smooth, but, at times, are way too fuckin high. My dog started bleeding from the ears and I even had headphones on. The ballads are real hard to take, but a couple songs like "Rockin the World" and "More Than A Man" are listenable. The title track (an answer song to Crue's "Shout At the Devil") has a memorable chorus going for it.
Not being an extreme religious type, it's just hard to sit through 746 references to JAY-SUS, so I tune it out and mentally change the lines.
"To Hell With the Devil"
"Where the Hell is Justin Incredible"
"Rockin the world for you, Holy one"
"Rockin the world for you, bowling's fun"
Was it worth it? I suppose. I could always use it as a gag gift to my favorite goth for XMAS. Certainly, though, I would pay big money to see a fight between Deicide and Stryper.
STRYPER=Salvation Through Redemption Yields Peace Encouragement and Rightouesness
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