Building upon the success of his 2016 release "One Sided War", STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet returns with his tenth solo LP, aptly titled "Ten". The new album is scheduled for release on October 11 via Rat Pak Records in North America and Frontiers Music Srl in Europe.
"Ten" features an all-star guest lineup that includes Jeff Loomis of ARCH ENEMY, Todd La Torre of QUEENSRŸCHE, Andy James, Tracii Guns of L.A. GUNS, Rich Ward of FOZZY, Joel Hoekstra of WHITESNAKE, Gus G. of FIREWIND, Howie Simon, Ethan Brosh, Marzi Montazeri of EXHORDER, Will Hunt of EVANESCENCE , John O'Boyle, Mike Kerr and Ian Raposa of FIRSTBOURNE and more.
On the subject of guest musicians, Michael comments: "There is a different player appearing on every song. It started out where I was just going to have a couple of guest appearances on it, then I decided that it would be really interesting to bring in different players for every song. I started putting names out there and reaching out to people, and they started agreeing to do it. And then I had guys reaching out to me."
"Ten" is available for pre-order via the Rat Pak Records web site in various bundle configurations, including translucent green and black splatter vinyl, cassette and hand-autographed CD packages. The album also has two bonus tracks that appear on all configurations.
Produced by Michael Sweet, "Ten" was recorded and mixed by Danny Bernini at the Spirithouse Recording Studio in North Hampton and was mastered by Alex Saltz.
Regarding the musical direction of the album, Michael states: "I'm very excited about this release. There are old-school, straight-ahead metal ideas in the vein of JUDAS PRIEST, DIO and IRON MAIDEN — all the stuff I love listening to!"
As for the "Ten" album title, Sweet recently stated: "It's called 'Ten' cause it's my tenth album, and because there is a title track on there about the Ten Commandments — a really powerful song. There's real heavy stuff. It starts kind of smacking you in the face and it ends kicking you in the gut."
"Ten" track listing:
01. Better Part Of Me (featuring Jeff Loomis of ARCH ENEMY)
02. Lay It Down (featuring Marzi Montazeri)
03. Forget, Forgive (featuring Howie Simon)
04. Now Or Never (featuring Gus G of FIREWIND)
05. Ten (featuring Rich Ward of FOZZY)
06. Shine (featuring Ethan Brosh)
07. Let It Be Love
08. Never Alone (featuring Joel Hoekstra of WHITESNAKE)
09. When Love Is Hated (featuring Joel Hoekstra of WHITESNAKE)
10. Ricochet (featuring Tracii Guns of L.A. GUNS)
11. With You Till The End (featuring Mike Kerr and Ian Raposa from FIRSTBOURNE)
12. Son Of Man (featuring Todd La Torre of QUEENSRŸCHE and Andy James)
"One Sided War" was released in August 2016 via Rat Pak Records. Backing Michael on the record were Hoekstra, Hunt, O'Boyle and Brosh.
In a 2016 interview with The Aquarian Weekly, Sweet said that he enjoyed making solo albums "because it's an opportunity to free myself up a little bit more, experiment a little bit more, and try some things that STRYPER may not be able to try."
STRYPER's latest album, "God Damn Evil", was released in April 2018 via Frontiers Music Srl.