Throughout the 1980s' reign of metal, Stryper was arguably the biggest name in the conflicted subgenre of devout Christian hair metal. Messages of faith and devotion to Biblical teachings made up their biggest selling albums, and their witnessing met with skilled technical metal guitar work, translating into platinum sales. After a hiatus that lasted most of the '90s, Stryper returned in the early oughts with renewed vigor, and Second Coming finds the band re-recording classic material from their early records. While the idea of revisiting Christian metal tunes almost 30 years later looks pretty bad on paper, the group attacks the material with all the gusto and drive of their young days, if not more. Classic tracks like "To Hell with the Devil" and "Soldiers Under Command" channel the energy of the past and benefit from updates in studio recording technology as well as years of clean living on the part of the band. Two brand new compositions, "Blackened" and "Bleeding from Inside Out," round out the collection, and sound right at home among the new versions of old favorites.
AllMusic Review by Fred Thomas