ReviewsSweet & Lynch Offer Rock Fans Lots To Like...

Sweet & Lynch Offer Rock Fans Lots To Like In Their Latest LP


Stryper front man Michael Sweet and guitarist George Lynch (ex-Dokken, Lynch Mob, The End Machine) are set to release their latest joint effort, Heart & Sacrifice, Friday through Frontiers Music s.r.l.  The duo’s third collaborative effort, it will come six years after the release of the duo’s then latest album, Unified (2017).  That album and its predecessor, Only To Rise (2014), were each also released through Frontiers Music s.r.l.  The 12-song record will appeal to the pair’s established audiences just as much as its predecessors in part through its musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical content does just as much to make the album engaging and entertaining.  It will be examined a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later.  Each item noted here is key in its own way to the whole of Heart & Sacrifice. All things considered the album proves a successful new offering from Sweet & Lynch that deserves its own spot among the best of this year’s top new rock albums.

Heart & Sacrifice, the latest album from the duo of Michael Sweet and George Lynch, is a presentation that the pair’s established audiences will find just as appealing as its first two records.  It proves to be largely a successful new offering from Sweet and Lynch in part as a result of its featured musical arrangements.  For the most part, the arrangements featured in this record’s dozen total songs exhibit the pair’s clear 80s hair rock leanings.  That is evident in all of the bombast of the instrumentation in most of the songs and Sweet’s familiar soaring, operatic style vocal delivery.  The interesting aspect here is that even within that familiar style approach and sound, the arrangements do hold their own identity from one to the next.  Case in point is the arrangement at the center of ‘After All Is Said and Done.’  The bluesy, country rock sound and style in this song immediately lends itself to comparison to the songs that Bon Jovi crafted for the Young Guns movies.  Sweet even styles his voice to come across very much in the vein of the band’s namesake front man.  Meanwhile the bombast of songs from the likes of Ratt and their counterparts is on full display in the album’s third entry, ‘Miracle’ as is evidenced through the approach of the guitars and vocals.  It is distinctly different from the sound and style of After All Is Said and Done while still maintaining the noted familiar 80s hair rock sound.  ‘You’ll Never Be Alone’ is yet another example of that vintage rock sound.  Audiences will note in this arrangement. A sound that hints at influences not only from the late 80s but also from the early 90s; that sound that really bridged the two decades.  It is yet another example of the diversity in the record’s musical arrangements.

The duo does not stick just to the 80s in its arrangement.  In the record’s second half, the duo turns things heavier and more modern.  ‘Will It Ever Change’ for instance, is a high energy hard rock composition that will have even the most devout metalhead surprisingly engaged.  This even with the softer moments in the song’s verses to counter that heaviness in the choruses.  ‘It’s Time To Believe,’ which immediately follows that track, certainly sounds familiar.  As a matter of fact, much of the guitar line in this song immediately lends itself to comparison to vintage Metallica.  That is quite the difference from ‘Will It Ever Change’ and from the rest of the record’s musical content, showing even more, the diversity in the album’s musical body.  ‘It Rains Again,’ the album’s penultimate is another work that blends modern hard rock influences with the pair’s vintage leanings, showing even more, that diversity.  All things considered the musical makeup of Heart & Sacrifice offers audiences much to applaud.  It is just part of what audiences will appreciate in this record.  The album’s lyrical content adds its own positive touch to the whole.

The lyrical content featured throughout Heart & Sacrifice is important to the album’s success because of its accessibility and collective themes.  Much of the lyrical content featured throughout the album is uplifting material that encourages listeners to push on through life’s adversities in various ways.  It reminds listeners, for example, to remind themselves that they are not alone in their difficult times in ‘It’s Time To Believe.’  The duo even goes so far as to remind listeners to keep their faith even in those times.  This is a direct influence of Sweet’s own Christian faith and beliefs even though this is not a Stryper record.  For all of the positive uplifting messages spread across the album’s lyrical side, there are some heavier songs that center on some equally familiar topics that are still accessible. ‘After All Is Said and Done,’ for instance, is that familiar song about a broken relationship.  ‘It Rains Again’ comes across as centering on the topic of mental health on another note and seemingly so does ‘Will It Ever Change?’ just in its own unique fashion.  Between these songs and the others noted here, the overall diversity in the lyrical content and its accessibility, the whole makes obvious why the album’s lyrical content is just as important as its musical content.  When both sides are considered together the whole makes the record all the mor engaging and entertaining.  The overall content is only part of what makes Heart & Sacrifice worth hearing.  The sequencing of that content puts the finishing touch to the presentation, completing the picture painted by this record.

The sequencing of the overall content in this record is important to note because of the positive general effect that it generates.  Between the musical and lyrical content, the sequencing ensures that each song holds its own against one another throughout the course of the album’s run.  The lyrical themes keep listeners engaged in their diversity and even when they are largely the same, still change just enough to keep things interesting.  When they do change that adds even more to the engagement and entertainment.  The musical arrangements change just enough from one to the next, too, making just as certain that listeners remain engaged and entertained.  The sequencing takes all of that into account to make sure the album’s overall energy remains stable throughout the presentation and succeeds in the process.  Keeping in mind the obvious positive general effect that results from the album’s sequencing, it completes the record’s presentation and proves to be just as important to the album as the album’s content.

Heart & Sacrifice, the latest album from Michael Sweet and George Lynch, is a successful album that any rock fan will appreciate regardless of their familiarity with each man’s extensive body of work.  That is proven in part through its featured arrangements, which blend elements of 80s hair rock with more modern leanings to make the whole so immersive.  The album’s musical content is accessible throughout, with some of the content offering words of encouragement and other content addressing mental health and even broken relationships.  The sequencing of that overall content takes it all into account and keeps everything interesting for listeners from beginning to end, with the result being an overall positive general effect.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered they make Heart & Sacrifice one of the best of this year’s new rock albums.

Heart & Sacrifice is scheduled for release Friday through Frontiers Music s.r.l.  More information on the album is available along with the latest news from Sweet & Lynch at: