[Photos by: Alex Solca, Mike Mozart/Wikimedia Commons]
Ubiquitous retail chain Walmart is reportedly refusing to carry Christian metal band Stryper's new album based on its title. The veteran act's upcoming 10th studio album, called God Damn Evil, is out April 20 from Frontiers Music SRL.
Along with Walmart, several specifically Christian retail outlets have also declined to stock the holy-D-word-droppin' new album. Stryper frontman Michael Sweet spoke about their disappointment in the retailers' decision.
“The odd thing is, of all the chains out there, we assumed Walmart would be one to understand exactly what our point and purpose is,” he said. “Many chains have joined us in making such a statement. Walmart unfortunately has not.”
The apparent point or purpose of the (seemingly sacrilegious?) album title is, per Sweet, meant to be deciphered as a prayer to God, not a shock tactic. The musician says the title's an earnest call for godly banishment of evil.
“Our new album title God Damn Evil is a statement that's needed in our society,” he adds. “We've seen evil rise to new levels and this title is simply a prayer request asking God to damn or condemn all the evil around us.”
Stryper, their name a Bible reference to Isaiah 53:5, have released past albums under titles such as To Hell With The Devil (1986) and No More Hell To Pay (2013). Sweet says the band respect Walmart's decision to decline selling the new album, but they don't agree with the stated misconception.
“Stryper has always been about making people think outside the box. Although we respect [Walmart's] decision, and what's done is done, it's frustrating to see something that's meant for good get misinterpreted.”
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