STRYPER – To Hell With The Devil [Japan HR/HM 1000 Vol.2 reissue series] (2020) *EXCLUSIVE*

STRYPER - To Hell With The Devil [Japan HR/HM 1000 Vol.2 reissue series] (2020) *EXCLUSIVE* full

A couple years ago we featured a lot of albums from the Universal Music Japan campaign ‘HR/HM 1000‘, that meaning Hard Rock / Heavy Metal long time out of print record from their catalog at the price of 1000 Yen = about 10 USD.
Now 2020 the label started the “HR/HM 1000 Vol.2 reissue series”, including some awesome titles you need to own is a superior Japanese CD press for only 10 bucks.
And we have here in exclusive the STRYPER album “To Hell With The Devil“.

Released in 1986, this does have some of their best songs. Even the sound-effect intro “Abyss” is classic. It’s as familiar to me as “In the Beginning” by Motley Crue or “The Dark” by Black Sabbath. I used to use all three of those bits for sound effects at Halloween time, in fact.
“To Hell With the Devil” itself is a strong metal song, with dual guitar harmonies and the angelic harmonies of Michael Sweet. His range is exceptional, and the guy plays lead guitars too! What a talent. “To Hell With the Devil” kicks off the album on a melodic, but heavy note.

Anthemic hard rock songs are one of Stryper’s specialities, and “Calling On You” is one of their best. Michael Sweet said in past interviews that he tried to make his songs accessible by keeping the overtly Christian themes a little more subtle. So, if you know Stryper are Christians, you know what “Calling On You” means. If you don’t, you think “You give me love, you keep me company” is about two people in love. This is something I appreciate.

“Free” kicks ass. That guitar riff smokes, and once again Stryper composed a melodic, heavy anthem. Lyrically, Sweet reminds us that we are “free to walk away and deny” if we decide. “It’s your choice,” go the words, and that helps make the song more inclusive. As soon as I saw the video on MTV, I was hooked.
A successful hard rock album had to have a ballad in 1986. That was the key to getting on the radio. “Honestly” was the big piano ballad. I don’t care for the quiet opening, but once Michael starts givin’ ‘er, it’s really great. It’s exceptionally well written.

STRYPER - To Hell With The Devil [Japan HR/HM 1000 Vol.2 reissue series] disc

“The Way” is the only track written by guitarist Oz Fox, and it’s pure metal — riff, smoking vocals, slamming drums. This one is not about the melodies so much as the fast licks and high screams. Great tune, although “Rocking for the One who is the rock,” is not the catchiest chorus I’ve ever sung along to.
“Sing-Along Song” has a “Metal Gods”-ish pulse to it, but it is as far from Judas Priest as you can imagine. This is a glam-metal song with a synth bass and a commercial punch.
“Rockin’ the World” is a good rocker with a classy mid-80s sound, there’s another strong ballad on “All of Me”, then “More Than a Man” ends the album on a solidly heavy moment, an appropriate bookend for “To Hell With the Devil”.

If you still don’t have Stryper’s “To Hell With The Devil” in your collection you are missing an essential piece of ’80s US hard rock / glam. This is your chance to grab a superior Japanese CD press for a regular price.
An Eighties Classic
Only at 0dayrox


H R / H M 1000 Vol,2 SERIES

01 – Abyss (To Hell With the Devil)
02 – To Hell With the Devil
03 – Calling on You
04 – Free
05 – Honestly
06 – The Way
07 – Sing-Along Song
08 – Holding On
09 – Rockin’ the World
10 – All of Me
11 – More Than a Man

Michael Sweet – lead vocals, guitar
Robert Sweet – drums, background vocals
Oz Fox – lead guitar, background vocals
Tim Gaines – bass, background vocals
additional musicians:
John Van Tongeren – keyboards
Brad Cobb – session bassist



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4 Responses

  1. Jerry Oliver says:

    So, was Soldiers released?
    These aren’t remastered, right?

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