Chrystal Records, 1987)
There's the kind of album cover that is so obviously bad, it has to be a joke. Then there's the kind that's so much worse, it couldn't possibly be a joke. First Strike falls into the latter category.
Stryken was a Christian metal band from Austin. On this album from 1987, the band proudly wears their A.O.G. (Armor Of God), a kind of goth football padding, as they prepare to battle the forces of evil with such songs as "State of Emergency" and "Crush the Head of Satan." Just how the handcuff belt buckles, Jheri curls and mascara help in the battle remains unclear.
The two guys in the middle appear to be wearing some sort of diapers or miniskirts. I thought perhaps it was to hide their manhood, so as not to arouse sinful thoughts in the minds of their female fans. But the throbbing band member on the left apparently didn't get the memo.
With a logo just begging to be written in erasable pen on the back of a troubled teen's notebook, Stryken's mission was to save the youth from the temptations of evil. They were likely successful on one count - they kept the forces of Satan at bay. Said forces were surely too busy pointing and laughing at Stryken to do any mischief! - Nick DiFonzo
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