Three years ago, Michael Sweet considered taking a reduced role in Stryper. Unable to hit some of the high notes in the band's catalog, he was willing to stand back as just the guitarist who would sing from time to time while "some young lad" they would recruit would handle the majority of the vocal work. The fans said they'd prefer Sweet remain up front and on the group's new song "Take it to the Cross," the singer hits some piercing highs, demonstrating he's still got it.

The cut is the first single to be released off the controversial (by Stryper standards) God Damn Evil album. After a minute of silence, letting a CGI dystopian landscape set the tone, a galloping rhythm unfolds, its heroic nature intensified with some deep male choirs. It has the makings of a classic heavy metal track and turns angsty when the chorus arrives as Sweet's piercing highs shriek the song's title in conjunction with thrashing chugs.

"'Take It To The Cross’ is our answer to many fans asking us to do something a little heavier and even bordering on thrash,” comments Sweet. “The verses are heavy with a vocal and lyric delivery that's bold and relevant yet the chorus kicks in with a fast, thrashy vibe. We brought in Matt Bachand (Act Of Defiance / Shadows Fall) to handle the vocal growl on the choruses and the end vamp. This song is 100 percent high octane.”

Look out for more from God Damn Evil before the album arrives on April 20th through Frontiers Music SRL. Reserve your copy in advance here.

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