Stryper Biography

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StryperStryper is an American Christian metal band that hailed from Orange County, California. The band is considered to be the pioneers of popularizing the Christian rock scene during the 80’s.

The band was formed by brothers Michael and Robert Sweet in 1982. The brothers were inspired by bands such as Van Halen but did not agree with the message that they were trying to convey.

The band was initially known as Roxx Regime and was composed of Michael Sweet on vocals and guitar, Robert Sweet on drums, Oz Fox on guitar and Tim Gaines on bass. They eventually changed their name to Stryper and released their EP The Yellow and Black Attack on July of 1984.

The band released songs that belong with the metal genre but carry a Christian message. The band also began to open shows for bands like Ratt and Bon Jovi which later on led other critics to claim that they were not a true Christian band.

In May of 1985, Stryper released its first full length album, Soldiers Under Command. It became the bands first Gold record and sold for more than 500,000 copies. Because of the unexpected success garnered by this album, the band’s label decided to re-release the band’s first EP in august of 1986 to make up for its previous limited release.

The band then followed their EP re-release with their third album, To Hell with the Devil, which was released on October of 1986. The album spent three months on the Billboard album charts and then went on to Platinum status shortly after.

The album went on to sell an excess of two million copies. It became the band’s most successful album, which included the songs "Calling On You", "Free" and "Honestly" becoming MTV staples in 1987. And for this, Stryper became the first Christian band to get some airplay on MTV.

Their next album, In God We Trust was released on June of 1988. The album was able to achieve Gold status but was only able to stay briefly on the charts. In August of 1990, the band began to change their image as well as their song’s message with the release of their Against the Law album.

Their sound was heavier and closer to classic metal with the songs no longer having any Christian theme. The drastic change proved to be disastrous as the album suffered poor sales.

In July of 1991, the band released a greatest hits collection, Can’t Stop the Rock. The band then continued to support the album with a tour until February of 1992. Their front man Michael Sweet then left the band in order to pursue a solo career.

The band then continued on as a trio to continue on the European leg of their tour. When they arrived back in the US, the remaining members decided to go on their separate ways.

The band has since reunited and was able to release an album, Reborn in august of 2005. The band incorporated aspects of grunge and alternative rock into their music to keep them with the current styles. They have since gone back to their musical roots by taking on familiar Christian themes as their early releases.

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