Once in a great while a band will release a covers album that really grabs your attention. You know what I’m talking about. There are some out there that are half-hearted attempts to cash in on a popular artist. There are others that only exist because the band members couldn’t get their act together enough to write original material. I’m thrilled to say Stryper doesn’t fall into either category with The Covering.

From beginning to end these guys prove they enjoy and appreciate the tunes. Why would we in our narrow-mindedness ever think Stryper couldn’t crank some Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Ozzy or Kiss every now and then?

The guitar tones, the effects, the vocals, the drum fills, the bass lines – dead on. I enjoy an original take with cover songs every now and then, but I was really hoping Michael Sweet and Co. would stay pretty true to the classic arrangements and launch them to the next level. I can’t say it enough: The Covering is a perfect example of what a covers album should be.

Attention to detail is something I really look for whenever I hear a new take on a classic song. It makes it really genuine to hear the tiniest details because you know as a music fan that whoever is playing the song really likes the music. Aside from relating to lyrics and making it a personal experience, hearing familiar licks or even the slightest effect in a cover song connects you with the artist because you realize you both appreciate the original artist and take pride together in your love for the song.

Stryper takes full ownership of the songs on The Covering. Some could still deliver a message that would “rock the hell” out of anyone, but most serve as an excuse to rock out and have a great time. Think about the riffs in this set! You could play air guitar for hours just humming the tunes in your head.

The new tune, “God,” is reminiscent of classic Stryper material. The dual guitar attack from Michael Sweet and Oz Fox creates the legendary Stryper environment. “God” is the perfect step in the future of the band.

Stryper proves they’re among the best in the business with The Covering.

[rating:5]

Set Me Free
Blackout
Heaven and Hell
Lights Out
Carry On Wayward Son
Highway Star
Shout It Out Loud
Over the Mountain
The Trooper
Breaking the Law
On Fire
Immigrant Song
God