Mystic Chapel

Mystic Chapel starts with a Prelude called “Journey’s End.” It’s an instrumental guitar song that’s a bit haunting; it feels like a person has been walking a long time through the woods and is finally finding refuge in a building during a rainstorm. Toward the end of the Prelude, a bell rings. What’s inside of this place?

“Come Let Us Worship” follows the Prelude, and it sounds as if you’ve walked into an Irish pub, with fellows singing about the Lord: “Lord have mercy…for thou art God, thou art holy…” It couldn’t be more different than the moody Prelude.

This is Mystic Chapel, an album by Michael Glen Bell and Duane W.H. Arnold, billing themselves and/or their music as “The Project.” Mystic Chapel is relatively quick, clocking in just over half an hour, but the musicians use their time well.

Might it sound odd for me to say their music reminds me of Phil Keaggy meets The Beach Boys? There’s a bit of the surf rock, old hippie sound to songs like “Joyous Light” and “From On High.” This is not today’s corporate American vanilla Coldplay-sounding megachurch music. Nope, this takes you back to a time when guys with guitars started singing in churches that had previously only used organs.

Interestingly, Bell and Arnold are trying to ask the question “What if we still believed?” Mystic Chapel is very religious lyrically, but still accessible to those with no faith or those who feel like they’re “done” with church. It’s a thinking man’s album in a world of vapid and bland albums. It also feels like you’re stepping back in time to a different era for the church, music and the world in general; Maybe you’re just stepping into a literal Mystic Chapel? That’s for you to decide.

If you like guitar music with pleasant harmonies and Anglican/Catholic-style lyrics sung to God, investigate The Project’s Mystic Chapel. –Mark Weber, Christian Music Makers

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Decyfer Down

Grammy and Dove-nominated rock band Decyfer Down is laying the foundation for its first full-length studio album in over two years, The Other Side Of Darkness, set to release independently early 2016 through The Fuel Music.

Returning to its indie roots after a decade of touring and three acclaimed label releases, the band– Brandon Mills and Chris Clonts (guitars), TJ Harris (vocals/guitar), Benjamin Millhouse (drums) and Chris Furr (bass)– is reveling in its new found freedom to write, record, release and perform new music.

Following seven No. 1 Christian Rock radio hits, their new radio single, “Nothing More,” is a fists-in-the-air anthem meant to encourage fans to move forward with God regardless of what might try to stand in the way.

“We all have toxins and struggles that we deal with every single day, whether it’s a bad relationship or some sort of thing in our lives that is weighing us down and hindering our relationship with God and His ultimate plan for our life,” says Decyfer Down guitarist Chris Clonts. “We want nothing more than to sever toxic ties, and to move forward with God.”

Taking the new music from The Other Side Of Darkness, as well as its growing list of fan favorites, on the road, Decyfer Down plans to tour heavily in 2016. The upcoming tour follows 32 packed events last winter/spring with Disciple, Seventh Day Slumber and Nine Lashes.  –Christian Music Makers

 

Stryper

Stryper is back to reclaim their throne in the hard rock/heavy metal world with the latest song from their upcoming 9th studio album, Fallen. The title track “Fallen” can be heard here:

The original lineup comprised of Michael Sweet (vocals/guitars), Oz Fox (guitars), Tim Gaines (bass) and Robert Sweet (drums) returns with an album of all new material showcasing the musicianship that garnered them a huge fan base in the mainstream world and the Christian market. From the opening choral refrains of “Yahweh” to the signature vocal scream at the end of “King Of Kings,” it is apparent that Stryper is back with their heaviest and most inspired work to date that is scheduled for release on October 16th via Frontiers Music SRL. Fallen was produced by Michael Sweet.

“Fallen is about Lucifer before he became Satan. It’s the story of how he got kicked out of Heaven. He tried to overthrow God and take over,” describes Michael Sweet. “The song talks about how beautiful he was. When he walked, there was music. He was the angel of worship and this incredibly powerful and beautiful being.”

The latest song comes on the heels of the album teaser track, “Yahweh,” that was released last month and has been listened to over 135K times since it went live. “Yahweh” was a musical writing collaboration between Michael Sweet and Sevendust’s Clint Lowery. Tracks like “Pride,” “Big Screen Lies” and “Til I Get What I Need” show that Stryper is back and better than ever. Stryper offers their unique interpretation of the Black Sabbath classic “After Forever.” The band flexes their softer side on the instantly memorable “All Over Again” which continues the journey Stryper fans began almost 30 years ago when “Honestly” was released to mainstream success.

The track listing for Fallen is:
1) Yahweh
2) Fallen
3) Pride
4) Big Screen Lies
5) Heaven
6) Love You Like I Do
7) All Over Again
8) After Forever
9) Till I Get What I Need
10) Let There Be Light
11) The Calling
12) King Of Kings

Stryper is one of the top Christian rock bands of all time. Comprised of the original line-up, Stryper has been rocking since 1984, and is responsible for such ’80s metal classic albums as Soldiers Under Command, To Hell With The Devil and In God We Trust. In fact, Stryper is the first band to ever have two songs in MTV’s Top 10 simultaneously with their hits “Free” and “Honestly.” After a sabbatical for much of the 1990’s, Stryper returned strong in the early 21st century. To date, the Dove Award-winning and GRAMMY nominated band has sold upwards of 10 million records worldwide. Their last studio album No More Hell To Pay debuted in the Top 40 of the Billboard Top 200 landing at #35.