Great Metal Albums of 1985: Styper- Soldiers Under Command


Having had previous experience in Christian Rock in 1984, I knew exactly what to expect when “Soldiers Under Command” from Christian metal band Stryper made its appearance. I had loved their previous EP, “Yellow and Black Attack” so I was a little excited to hear they had a full length album coming out. What I didn’t expect was the commercial success it would go on to enjoy. I even remember seeing the video for the title track on MTV. “Soldiers Under Command” was the first Christian Rock album to go gold.

Stryper disproved the myth some of misguided individuals that Christian rock bands were second rate musicians who turned to making religious music to gain some sort of audience. Obviously, these people had never heard of Kerry Livgren from Kansas fame but I digress. Michael Sweet is one of the best vocalists in music, period. He can hit the high notes and the low ones with considerable ease. His brother Robert and Tim Gaines make a good rhythm section as any. As for guitarist Oz Fox, he can bend the six string along with the best of them. To quote lyrics from one of their songs, “Jesus makes me want to sing.” If that’s the case, then Jesus definitely makes them sing and play well so full marks to the Son of God.

Whether it be one of the seven metal blasters or the three ballads, Styper prove they have the goods. While the title track has always been my all time favourite Stryper tune, the rest of the album is very good. Unlike some, I have never been put off by the Jesus lyrics, it’s what made them unique. For me though, the hidden gem on the album has always been the track, “Surrender” with “The Rock That Makes Me Roll” a close second. These tracks prove that you can sing about God in heavy metal and it will sound good. “Surrender” boasts Fox’s best guitar solo on the album.  Stryper does surprise you with a total out of the blue cover of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” It’s done as a ballad but the way it’s done ends the album on a definite high.

Track Listing

  1. Soldiers Under Command
  2. Makes Me Want to Sing
  3. Together Forever
  4. First Love
  5. The Rock That Makes Me Roll
  6. Reach Out
  7. (Waiting For) A Love That’s Real
  8. Together as One
  9. Surrender
  10. The Battle Hymn of the Republic


Michael Sweet- lead vocals

Robert Sweet- drums

Oz Fox- guitar, backing vocals

Tim Gaines- bass, keyboards, backing vocals, piano

Whatever you feel about their religious beliefs, one can’t deny that Stryper definitely pack the heavy metal goods. “Soldiers Under Command” proves that one can even headbang for Jesus.

Back in 1985, I used to listen to this album along with Mercyful Fate’s “Melissa” album calling it my ‘Heaven and Hell’ moments. Since I have already visited Mercyful Fate’s classic album and I’m feeling a heaven and hell moment:

Next post: Grim Reaper- Fear No Evil

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to:









4 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1985: Styper- Soldiers Under Command”

  1. I remember them !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I found his one recently on white vinyl. I had to grab it. Love this one.

    Liked by 1 person

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