Stryper – “To Hell With The Devil” (1986)

A landmark album in the world of Christian “metal”, To Hell With The Devil was the first album of its kind to achieve platinum status.  That said, DAMN this album is CORNY!  And I’m not saying that all Christian lyrics are corny, just that THESE Christian lyrics are corny.  (Let’s face it, Christian lyrics can’t be any more foolish than Satanic lyrics.  I mean, how juvenile are the lyrics to the album Hell Awaits by Slayer?)  Anyhoo… most of To Hell With The Devil is pretty weak sauce glam metal.  A couple of ballads really pour on the syrup THICK.  On Honestly and All Of Me, Michael Sweet manages to make Dennis DeYoung of Styx sound like James Hetfield.  Wow!  These songs are like limp-wristed show tunes.  I can’t believe this album caught on like it did.  The hair, the outfits, the love songs to Jesus… it’s all a little much, even for a serious glam metal fan like myself.  Still, To Hell With The Devil can be a bit of a guilty pleasure when the mood strikes.  I find Calling On You to be particularly irresistable.  The original cover is shown above.  It was later replaced by something deemed less “controversial” (see below).  My score: C+


One thought on “Stryper – “To Hell With The Devil” (1986)

  1. I’ll admit it … I like this album … in small doses. There are times when I’ll play it after a lot of time has elapsed since last hearing it, and I’ll think “This is better than I remember.” Conversely, sometimes I’ll look forward to playing it and I’ll think, “Yikes. This is cringe-worthy.”
    Funny you mention Dennis DeYoung, because ‘Honestly’ has Styx written all over it. (Ironic, no?). It was actually a pretty big mainstream hit that year. Dig up a boom box and play it in the middle of a parking lot somewhere, and I guarantee you there will be 40-year-old chicks in acid-wash jeans mouthing the words.

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