Metal Mofos recently listed Stryper’s Classic 1986 album To Hell With the Devil as a must own heavy metal/hard rock album. I couldn’t agree more. Stryper are a very talented band. Guitarists Michael Sweet and Oz Fox can shred with the best of them. Their two guitar approach is very melodic and really stands out in the pop metal world.
Frontman Michael Sweet has a career outside of Stryper as well. He has released several solo albums, fronted 70s arena rock legends Boston for several years after the passing of Brad Delp, and has a project with George Lynch (guitarist of Dokken and Lynch Mob) called Sweet and Lynch.
Michael Sweet released his latest solo album One Sided War on August 26th. This is the BEST music Michael Sweet has released in his career. You read that right. It’s better than Stryper albums and his other solo stuff. I’m certainly not saying he’s released anything horrible. This album is just that good. And it’s HEAVY!
Stryper released a new album last year titled Fallen . It had a really heavy edge sounding more like Judas Priest or Iron Maiden than pop metal like Poison or White Lion. Michael Sweet continued on in this direction for his solo album One Sided War. I’m a big fan of the heavier Stryper songs like “More Than a Man”, “Caught in the Middle”, and “Soldiers Under Command” plus pretty much everything on their album Fallen.
Let me outline a few highlights from One Sided War:
The album starts off with heavy hitter “Bizarre” and it’s squealing opening lead and crunchy main riff. Michael Sweet’s vocals shine as always.
The title track has a very modern sounding riff and music style throughout. Again Michael Sweet’s incredible vocal range stands out as he belts out the chorus to “One Sided War”.
“Can’t Take This Life” opens up with a really heavy main riff. It’s really crunchy on the low end then throws in a few melodic notes at the end of the measure. It’s one of my favorite riffs on the album from one of the heaviest songs on it.
Michael Sweet has stated his favorite track is “Radio” which takes a stab at rockers like Bret Michaels and Steven Tyler who have gone the country music route in an attempt to get some air time on the radio. It really is a great song poking some fun and bringing to light the actions of men like Tyler and Michaels.
“I Am” is another great heavy track. Superb opening riff and great crunch. Be sure to check this track out. Great solo in this one too.
The album closer “One Way Up” has a cool, bluesy riff to it like 70s rock style vibe. It’s Led Zeppelin, Lynard Skynard, and Molly Hatchet mixed with the sounds of Michael Sweet’s sunset strip style rock.
Michael Sweet, as well as Stryper, are now releasing the best music of their careers over thirty years in! I hope their peers from the 80s sunset strip scene have been taking notes. Where are they? When’s the last time Poison or Ratt released some quality tunes?
One Sided War is an album for Michael Sweet to be extremely proud of. It flat out rocks, and I hope readers of Metal Mofos will go out and support it.
Check out the music video for “Radio” here:
Written by Isaac Sauers
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