"The Covering", the much-anticipated covers album from Christian hard rockers STRYPER, will tentatively be released on February 1, 2011 via Big3 Records. The band has already released its cover of BLACK SABBATH's "Heaven And Hell" and as of today (December 14), KANSAS' "Carry On Wayward Son", which is available for download from iTunes.STRYPER is preparing to enter the studio in January to start work on a new project as well as tour extensively throughout 2011-2012 in support of the "The Covering". The band also recently joined forces with Union Entertainment Group (NICKELBACK, HINDER, DEFAULT, CINDERELLA, MR. BIG). "The Covering", produced by frontman Michael Sweet, will be unlike any previous STRYPER recording in that it's a collection of cover songs from bands that inspired them and helped to shape their sound and musical identity, including hits from JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, LED ZEPPELIN, KANSAS and many others. "The Covering" will also include "God", a new original recording from STRYPER. Commented STRYPER vocalist Michael Sweet: "The concept for 'The Covering' is very powerful and rings true to the power of God's love upon our lives. God's covering is transforming and life-changing and we thought it would be very cool to visually portray that through the new artwork. Chris at Pale Horse Design has designed a character that represents the bad, or 'the evil' side, if you will, in us all. The booklet, (in comic-book style) will tell a story of good conquering evil and therefore leading to the transformation of the main character. "I received the front cover and I have to tell you that it's modern, powerful, edgy and thought-provoking. It is awesome! "Even though this has been a record to cause controversy and a select few to question our motives and reasons for covering the songs that we recorded, our faith and beliefs have never been more confirmed and our message is the same as it has always been. We'll go to the grave making a bold stand for Christ and we will never deny that. At the same time, we wanted to show a different side to the band and make everyone aware of the fact that we literally 'cut our teeth' on this music. Our history is what it is and there's no reason to avoid that or to say otherwise. These songs and bands have played a very important role in our own sound and musicianship and quite possibly we wouldn't be here today if it weren't for these bands. At the same time, we can play a cover song yet still remain faithful and present the message we've always presented. This record will show a whole new side to the band musically yet an even more powerful side to the band spiritually. "I'm very proud (as we all are) to be a part of this record and a member of STRYPER. We've stayed true to our convictions and there are great things store for the future!" "The Covering" track listing: 01. SWEET - "Set Me Free"
02. SCORPIONS - "Blackout"
03. BLACK SABBATH - "Heaven and Hell"
04. UFO - "Lights Out"
05. KANSAS - "Carry On Wayward Son"
06. DEEP PURPLE - "Highway Star"
07. KISS - "Shout It Out Loud"
08. OZZY OSBOURNE - "Over The Mountain"
09. IRON MAIDEN - "The Trooper"
10. JUDAS PRIEST - "Breaking The Law"
11. VAN HALEN - "On Fire"
12. LED ZEPPELIN - "Immigrant Song"
13. God SWEET - "Set Me Free" audio sample: