Review by Andy Houghton for MPM
Of all the musical collaborations that I would love to see, I have to admit that an alliance between Tracii Guns and Michael Sweet hadn’t been on my list.
Guitarist Guns is of course best known for being a cofounder of the glam metal band L.A. Guns, as well as for his work with Contraband and Brides of Destruction.
Meanwhile, Sweet is the cofounder, vocalist and guitarist with Stryper, the first openly Christian heavy metal band.
So, does this unholy alliance work? In some ways, yes it does. The overall sound is heavier than you might expect from this pair (although, to be fair, Sweet’s output with Stryper has been progressively shifting towards the heavier end of the spectrum).
Sweet’s trademark multi-octave screams are much in evidence, and his vocal power and range appear well-matched to Guns’s doom-inspired instrumentals.
The end result is an album that’s a lot of fun, from the melodic meandering riffs of ‘Stronger Than Before’ to the breakneck tempo of title track ‘Evil and Divine’. By contrast, ‘Been Said and Done’ is more restrained, but no less enjoyable for it.
On the downside, my main gripe would be that collaborations like this can come across as ‘manufactured’. Rather than a natural coming together of like-minded creatives, the setup instead tends to feel artificial, and that’s then reflected in the music.
There’s no real standout track here, that key moment where the creative spark ignites and something innovative is created.
In conclusion, ‘Evil and Divine’ is an enjoyable if slightly uninspiring project from Guns and Sweet. There’s no doubt that this is a ‘retro’ album – it’s classic rock/metal straight from the 80s – and how much you like it will depend, I guess, upon your level of nostalgia for that era.
- Take Me Away
- Better End
- No Tomorrows
- Born To Win
- Evil And Divine
- Been Said And Done
- Stronger Than Before
- Story Of The Blind
- World Gone Wrong
- They Fought
‘Evil and Divine’ was released on May 14th, 2021 via Frontiers Music s.r.l.
Michael Sweet | Vocals
Tracii Guns | Guitars
Adam Hamilton | Drums
Mitch Davis | Bass
Johnny Martin | Bass (‘They Fought’)