Michael Sweet, singer, guitarist and primary songwriter of the openly Christian hard rock band STRYPER, says that he is planning to record an album of woship music.
The 57-year-old musician revealed his interest in writing a collection of songs that are generally thought to be too theologically specific for the mainstream market in an Instagram post earlier today (Monday, December 7).
He wrote: "Something I've always wanted to do is to record a worship album. I led worship at my home church for a few years a while back and it was one of the most gratifying moments of my musical history. It strengthened my own faith and brought me closer to God. I'm definitely planning on recording one and I hope you all will join me on this journey. It will be my first 'official' worship album and I've got a really good feeling about this one". He went on to say that the record would consist of "all originals".
Even though STRYPER's third album, 1986's "To Hell With The Devil", made Sweet and his bandmates the first contemporary Christian act to score a platinum album, the group has often felt unwelcome in Christian circles, with some members of the church feeling that Christianity and heavy metal are incompatible.
In a 2018 interview with the Detroit Free Press, Michael said that STRYPER was never fully embraced by the heavy metal and hard rock communities, largely because of the band's Christian lyrics.
"We've never been accepted by either side," he said. "The secular side, the mainstream, they've never accepted us to this day. We're probably that band that everyone's going to go to whenever there's a time to mock. We'll be the band used for that in most cases. Now on the Christian side, we've never really had the full support of the Christian side because we don't fit into their little club. We're not wearing suits and ties and going to every church and preaching."
Formed 37 years ago, STRYPER's name comes from Isaiah 53:5, which states: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
STRYPER's albums include "To Hell With The Devil", "Second Coming", "No More Hell To Pay", "Fallen", "God Damn Evil" and the band's latest effort, "Even The Devil Believes".