One of the best selling rock bands Skillet is back with their new tenth studio album Victorious.
If you like your nu-metal hard and heavy and have a penchant for bands like Shinedown, Avenged Sevenfold and Linkin Park then Skillet is the band for you.
The four-piece from Memphis is no stranger to the rock world as they bring you their tenth studio album Victorious. The Grammy award-nominated Christian rockers formed in1996. Fronted by John Cooper and accompanied by his wife Korey on guitar/vocals are not in any way preachy but do deliver hope on this impressive 12 track album.
The synthesiser analogue intro on Legendary makes me wonder in which direction this opening track is going. With plenty of whoa’s layered atop of the rhythmic guitars and deep bass lines, the riffs are as huge as the drums and make for a pounding composition. Not being familiar with Skillet, I discover singer John Cooper has a remarkably similar vocal style to Brent Smith.
You Ain’t Ready is more experimental, with a quick burst of dub-beats and mega-phone vocals help launch this track into its own assault. A song about standing up for yourself, this straight-up number packs a punch.
Taking you in a different direction the violin intro on Victorious reminds me of Cher’s Love and Understanding but that’s where the musical similarities stop but the message on both songs have the same values. This duet with Cooper and wife Korey on this powerful track, tackle the not so easy subject of mental health. Apparently, when Cooper read about the death of Chester Bennington, he felt moved to write about it. Victorious is a poignant moving track, bringing you the listener, inspiration.
Skillet tackle subjects like mental health and depression, conveying a positive vibe throughout.
This Is The Kingdom wouldn’t be out of place on Shinedown’s Attention Attention album, you could just sneak it in there. I like the way this song is constructed and delivered. With clear vocals and less of the studio trickery, it works well. It provides a nice bridge between the heavy and light on this album.
A delicate piano and blistering riffs begin to Save Me, it’s very nu-metal in sound but is somewhat middle of the road as we’ve heard this style before and its nothing new but it begins to pick up the pace on the chorus. Smouldering guitar licks, whip the track into place and the general sound has an Evanescence appeal, even down to the lyric ‘save me’ which ironically saves this song from being a hum-drum repeat.
Rise Up is a catchy pop-rock number with big riffs, big vocals and big support vocals from Korey, Skillet’s certainly ‘got the fire’ going on. Fanning the flames on Terrify the Dark, this soul-stirring piece rouses you with its almost showman like feel. Skillet does certainly like to mix up their styles.
Think Gary Numan and you get the energy of Never Going Back. The synth sound throughout carries this song, and the underlying attack of industrial-metal with big guitar riffage has elements of Nine Inch Nails. I think this has to be one of the standout tracks on the album with its individuality.
Going in the opposite direction Reach is very anthemic, its repetitive chorus and guitar onslaught make for a great rock-out number, it’s not as interesting musically but gets you tapping those feet.
Just as the album is accelerating full throttle, Anchor steadies you out on this beautiful piece with violins, bringing the balance on this powerful melodic song. I like that Cooper maintains his vocal range and doesn’t go reaching for the high notes.
As we approach the end Finish Line, the penultimate track delivers with impelling vocals. Skillet seems to have a knack of creating the type of songs, that just when you think it’s banal, they pack in the explosive riffs and cleverly mastered drums and other trickery to pull you in.
Skillet has obviously put in blood, sweat and tears into this album. And my only niggle is that I would’ve liked to have heard more of their velocity straight away. You know, when you find a great tune to blast without having to the wait for the sound to explode.
Album closer Back to Life delivers the goods and is filled with an arsenal of kick-ass heavy rock beats.
A great tenth album from Skillet, definitely worth a listen too, you know the best things can grow on you!
Track Listing :
- You Ain’t Ready
- This Is The Kingdom
- Save Me
- Rise Up
- Terrify the Dark
- Never Going Back
- Finish Line
- Back to Life
Skillet —John Cooper [lead vocals/bass], Korey Cooper [guitar/keys], Jen Ledger [drums/vocals], and Seth Morrison [lead guitar]
Useful links to Skillet: