I can say that "Murder By Pride" is truly a homage to the fans. Michael Sweet opened up his ears after harsh critics landed on them on the comeback album, "Reborn", for being too modern and departed quite far from their origin. "Murder By Pride", without leaving the idealism and passion for evolving, ambitiously recreated the classic atmosphere that was told by Sweet as an album with lots of melodies, lots of screams, and lots of guitars. Michael Sweet was responsible for the whole songwriting process and kudos for him for keeping the fire burning.
"Eclipse For The Son" decently opens the album, a safe uptempo passage, I can hear a mix of Stryper's classic with some newer element, pretty solid kicker but "4 Leaf Clover" is the real mood pumper. This track is heavy, modern, but still your ears can easily recognize the Stryper's pattern from the rhythm. Up next is Boston's classic, "Peace of Mind", a fun cover track with Tom Scholz contributing some guitars, I like this song. "Alive" is a great power ballad, the title track has a powerful punchy chorus and already became a concert regular, "I Believe" is a good contemporary track and probably you'll agree with me when I say Michael Sweet listened to a lot of Creed when he wrote this song. "Love Is Why" is another sparkling gem and "My Love (I'll Always Show)" is such a beautiful midtempo track, closing the album with style. Out of twelve songs, perhaps only "Mercy Over Blame" and "Everything" which I think are decent fillers.
While I don't think "Reborn" is disastrously ugly, "Murder By Pride" is a real contender to the strong release of "To Hell With The Devil" and "In God With Trust" that earned them fame and fortune. Like I said earlier, this is tribute pay to the long-time fans, and I would say, the hunger was fulfilled. I'm just hoping that this isn't their peak yet and Sweet and the gang will continue to deliver ultra high-quality releases in the future. Highly recommended !