Fan-filmed video footage of STRYPER's May 5 performance at the M3 Rock Festival at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland can be seen below (clips uploaded by YouTube user Jim Powers).
STRYPER's latest album, "God Damn Evil", was released on April 20 via Frontiers Music Srl.
Asked by All That Shreds what made STRYPER choose such a seemingly provocative title for its follow-up to 2015's "Fallen", frontman Michael Sweet said: "We didn't do it just to shake things up. We have a point to prove in a statement. A few years back we thought about using this title. We didn't go with it because we felt it was a little too much at that time. Now in 2018, with everything that we've seen on the news, the evil we're faced with on a daily basis to new levels and new degrees, it made perfect sense for us to have an album called 'God Damn Evil'. It's a prayer request. It is what it is. It's not a swear, it's not just the shock statement, it's a prayer request, and we're asking God to damn the evil that we see. It should be a prayer for everybody. Some people are freaking out thinking you're taking the Lord's name in vain, and it's not that at all."
In a press release announcing the release of "God Damn Evil", Sweet explained that he and his bandmates "thought long and hard about this title. It was actually considered quite a few years ago and it just didn't feel like the right time. Now, with all the evil in the world that we see around us on a daily basis, it made perfect sense. It's a very bold statement yet a prayer asking God to damn/condemn evil. Nothing more, nothing less.
"We all see and hear the darkness that surrounds us in our society, but with faith and love, we'll always have hope," he continued. "That's what STRYPER is all about: powerful music and a message that builds foundations, not walls. We couldn't be more excited about 'God Damn Evil', as it showcases our undying love for what we do and why we do it."
The follow-up to 2015's "Fallen" marks STRYPER's first effort since the addition of former FIREHOUSE bassist Perry Richardson. Perry joined the band as the replacement for STRYPER's longtime bassist Tim Gaines, who was fired from the group last year.
Perry did not play bass on STRYPER's new album due to scheduling constraints. The bass tracks on "God Damn Evil" were laid down by John O'Boyle, who played bass on Sweet's last two solo albums.