Sunbomb-Evil And Divine

Spread the metal:

Reviewed:  July 2021

Released:  May 2021, Frontiers Music

Rating:  2/5

Reviewer:  Buddy H

Supergroups are always a risky proposition. When the creative chemistry is there, the resulting music can be magical (see my review of Smith/Kotzen). The new “supergroup”, Sunbomb, has all the ingredients necessary to produce some very tasty hard rock/metal treats. The ageless Michael Sweet has been on an absolutely scorching streak lately, churning out copious amounts of quality material almost effortlessly.  Tracii Guns, since reuniting with Phil Lewis, has given us some excellent tunes with his rejuvenated version of L.A. Guns.  So, is this debut Sunbomb effort, EVIL AND DIVINE, greater than the sum of its parts?  Sadly, no.

I would be willing to bet that, while you were pondering the creative possibilities of combining two legendary and stellar musicians such as Sweet and Guns, you began salivating just as I did.  Think about it – take COCKED AND LOADED from L.A. Guns and add NO MORE HELL TO PAY from Stryper and the results could have been mind blowing.  This just simply is not the case.  The music is darker than these gentlemen’s respective full-time bands.    The production is crystal clear, and the overall mix quality is quite nice.  Stylistically, the album ranges from classically tinged rockers to slow plodding doom metal.  While I certainly do not object to variety within an album, this collection here just feels very disjointed.  The guitars are ok.  Just, ok.  That pains me to say because I have been a fan of Tracii Guns from the minute I saw the video for “Sex Action” on Headbanger’s Ball.  The vocals are a real problem for me on this album.  It is widely accepted that Michael Sweet is a seemingly timeless talent.  His performance on the latest string of Stryper releases has been magnificent. However, throughout this entire album, he seems as though he is straining, yelling and screaming at the top of his lungs.  This too pains me to say because I have been a Stryper fan since THE YELLOW AND BLACK ATTACK era.

I truly wanted to love Sunbomb.  I listened to EVIL AND DIVINE a total of ten times to make sure it was given the attention it deserves.  There are some noteworthy moments here, but they are just too few and far between for this listener.  The opener, “Life”, is the standout track on the album and features some great Guns guitar work.  For a multitude of reasons, EVIL AND DIVINE just did not resonate with me. I’m so sorry guys.  This one was a misfire for me.

Track Listing:

  1. Life
  2. Take Me Away
  3. Better End
  4. No Tomorrows
  5. Born To Win
  6. Evil And Divine
  7. Been Said And Done
  8. Stronger Than Before
  9. Story Of The Blind
  10. World Gone Wrong
  11. They Fought

Line Up:

Michael Sweet – Lead Vocals

Tracii Guns – Guitars

Mitch Davis – Bass Guitar

Johnny Martin – Bass Guitar (They Fought)

Adam Hamilton – Drums

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