The Importance of Stryper In Metal
A lot of people just assume Stryper was only big for Christian music. Yes, they paved the way for bands like Skillet, P.O.D., and arguably Paramore and Evanescence. Sure they helped turn the Contemporary Christian Music scene into a billion-dollar industry. Let’s be honest though, Stryper isn’t embraced by the Christian side of music. You won’t hear them on Christian radio either. Or secular stations. Essentially they are outcasts. In fact, they are being inducted into the Metal Hall Of Fame on September 12th this year, yet they are not in the Gospel Music Hall Of Fame.
Stryper’s songs usually involve guitar solos from Michael Sweet and/or Oz Fox. The fast pace of Robert Sweet on drums and the uplifting themes as well as Michael’s screams fit into the power metal category. During their original run from 1983-1992, the band would become some of the genre’s most important pioneers, particularly in America. Soldiers Under Command went gold, and To Hell With The Devil sold over 2 million copies. In God We Trust sold over 1 million copies in the United States (according to MTV interviewer Adam Curry). They also were large in Japan and South Korea, legendary South Korean singer Kim Kyung-ho covered the song To Hell With The Devil. In God We Trust was covered by YouTubers SOOM (Kang Kyun Sung) and Bubble Dia (who have 116,000 and 844,000 subscribers respectively). Rockid covered it as well and the video received over 1.3 million views. ShoutKing Tv also covered it. It seems over 30 years after In God We Trust was released it is still popular in South Korea. And In God We Trust was covered by Italian power metal group Thy Majesty as well as possibly being the first metal band to perform at Disney Land. This made Stryper one of the first successful power metal groups. The band also had 4 #1 MTV music videos and was the most requested band on Dial MTV in 1987, back when viewers called in to request a music video.
Stryper has been referenced by modern Japanese metal band Babymetal in a concert as artwork depicted them in the Garden of Eden with Mayhem. This makes the band part of Babymetal lore. Their musical fans include Lady Gaga (not kidding) and Larry The Cable Guy (yes, he makes music, and sold millions of records). Jeordie White/Twiggy Ramirez (ex-Marilyn Manson, ex-Nine Inch Nails) and Chris Jerich (Fozzy) are also fans. Countless others also love and/or were inspired by them. They have been referenced in movies such as Pain & Gain, Whip It, and Night Of The Creeps.
With over 12 million total units sold, they have the sales success to be inducted into the Metal Hall Of Fame. They have been highly influential to many musicians and overcame all odds along the way. Their music over the years has gotten heavier, as Michael’s vocals have improved, and the instrument play has gotten cleaner. The writing seems to keep improving as well. This is a band that literally sold-out stadiums in several continents, had several very successful albums, and did it all while tossing Bibles to tens of thousands of atheists. Millions of people who disagree with their beliefs still decided the music was good enough to listen to. They literally preached to millions of nonbelievers who had just listened to secular bands, while drinking and partying. That takes guts, but the Bible does say to “not fear” 365 times. One for every day. (Yes I know except for “leap years”). They told the story of Jesus (a confirmed historical figure who worked miracles, died, and came back, according to SECULAR sources) to some of the most degenerate music fans in history. Through it all, they helped make power metal what it is today.
Visit the band at the following sites:
Official Site: http://www.stryper.com/
Article by: John Ward