Follow the artist:
Buy the album:
Michael Sweet – Vocals, guitar. John O’Boyle – Bass. Paul McNamara – Keyboards. Will Hunt – Drums.
- Better Part Of Me (featuring Jeff Loomis of Arch Enemy).
- Lay It Down (featuring Marzi Montazeri).
- Forget, Forgive (featuring Howie Simon).
- Now Or Never (featuring Gus G of Firewind).
- Ten (featuring Rich Ward of Fozzy).
- Shine (featuring Ethan Brosh).
- Let It Be Love.
- Never Alone (featuring Joel Hoekstra of Whitesnake).
- When Love Is Hated (featuring Joel Hoekstra of Whitesnake).
- Ricochet (featuring Tracii Guns of L.A. Guns).
- With You Til The End (featuring Mike Kerr and Ian Raposa of FirstBourne)
- Son Of Man (featuring Todd La Torre of Queensryche and Andy James).
Michael Sweet is back yet again!
The Stryper front man has been on an unstoppable streak for the past several years releasing an astounding number of albums with Stryper, Sweet & Lynch and solo. And not only releasing a ton of albums, but releasing some of the best material of his entire career, time and time again.
I was excited for this one. I am a long time Stryper and Sweet fan and have immensely enjoyed Michael’s recent output. His last solo record, 2016’s ‘One Sided War’, was one of my favorite things that he has ever done, so I had high hopes going into this new album.
I had already heard him say that it was going to be a heavy album, and he was not lying. This is some of the heaviest material he has released, but he did not sacrifice any melody while going so heavy. The same catchy melodies and big hooks that you expect from him are here as well as his usual collection of screams and soaring vocals.
He brought along a huge list of amazing artists with him on this album including once again, Ethan Brosh along with the great Joel Hoekstra, the phenomenal Gus G and one of the best singers out there right now, Todd La Torre. Also featured are familiar names like Traci Guns, Howie Simon, Rich Ward, Jeff Loomis, Marzi Montazeri, Mike Kerr and Ian Raposa, so you know that the talent on this record is insane!
The album kicks off with the fast and furious ‘Better Part Of Me’, one of the standout tracks of the record, and does not let up at all until track 7 where we get a brief respite from the in your face metal with the lovely ballad ‘Let It Be Love’ before things crank right back up again with ‘Never Alone’.
The first half of the album is great and has some fantastic songs on it, but in a rare turn I actually think the second half of this album is even better and it features my favorite songs of the record, starting with ‘Shine’, which has one of the best choruses present, and on to the aforementioned ‘Let It Be Love’, which, as stated, is a great ballad with one of the best vocal deliveries of the record from Sweet.
‘When Love Is Hated’ is a terrific rocker and the album ends with two of the strongest songs of the record with the excellent ‘With You Til The End’ featuring Mike Kerr and Ian Raposa from the US metal band FirstBourne. Ian, whom I had only heard sing before on the 2016 EP ‘Burning Skies’ from his previous band Without Warning and FirstBourne’s ‘Pick Up The Torch’ record from 2019, more than holds his own with Sweet, which is no small feat.
The final track, the hard rocking, fast paced, in your face ‘Son Of Man’, is utterly fantastic due in no small part to the inclusion of Todd La Torre. The two men complement each other wonderfully vocally and the song is up there with some of my favorite Sweet songs ever.
If you like anything that Michael has been putting out in recent years than you know what to expect here and you will not be disappointed. An absolute belter of a record that any metal, nay, any music fan should have in their collection.
If you like Sweet or Stryper or what you hear above under the “Media” heading than just go buy it! I am nearing 70 listens of the album as a whole and I can’t think of a single thing I dislike about ‘Ten’.
Very highly recommended.
‘Better Part Of Me’.
‘Let It Be Love’.
‘When Love Is Hated’.
‘With You Til The End’.
‘Son Of Man’.
Rating: 98 out of 100.