STRYPER
"The Covering"

(Big3)

01. Set Me Free
02. Blackout
03. Heaven and Hell
04. Lights Out
05. Carry On Wayward Son
06. Highway Star
07. Shout It Out Loud
08. Over The Mountain
09. The Trooper
10. Breaking The Law
11. On Fire
12. Immigrant Song
13. God

RATING: 2/10

Why God? Why? It seems an appropriate question to ask in the context of a new STRYPER album consisting of 12 covers of classic heavy metal and rock songs and one tepid original. Rare is the covers album that is worth its salt and it is no big surprise that this STRYPER collection isn't even close to an exception.

If you're not thinking too much about it and have an appreciation for the classics, then you should get at least a measure of enjoyment out of hearing the STRYPER renditions, as most stay true to the originals. But if you bought "The Covering" to hear these versions, then I'm unclear about your motivations, aside from the assumption that you're a lifelong STRYPER fan, a fact that would raise several other questions pertaining to taste and mental stability. Be that as it may, the covers of "Blackout" (SCORPIONS) and "Shout it out Loud" (KISS) work OK, while "Lights Out" (UFO) was a decent choice. But here again, who really cares? Onward we go anyway… The bad decisions pertain to covers of — believe it or not — KANSAS' "Carry on Wayward Son" (spot-on musically, but otherwise staid), OZZY OSBOURNE's "Over the Mountain" (the riff/tone is butchered), and BLACK SABBATH's "Heaven and Hell" (forget the history and dual meanings; it should never have been attempted in the first place). As for the rest, the question remains the same. Who cares?

Then there is the matter of the original tune that closes the album. The cleverly titled (ahem) "God" is as slick as you can imagine and at least in keeping with STRYPER's polished and melodic take on heavy metal. But again I must ask… You know it.

How do you even rate such an effort? If you're a big STRYPER fan, I suppose this is a must-have. If you're looking for creative interpretations of the originals it's a zero. As for any reasoning behind releasing an album of (mostly) covers, I have my doubts for anything supportively compelling. Purchase the MP3s of the originals and make your own album. You don't need STRYPER to play them for you. Amen.

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