Album review: Skillet – “Unleashed”

Credit: ‘Atlantic Records’

Skillet have been arguably the most successful Christian rock band of the last decade and, indeed, even one of the most popular hard rock bands. Their previous album, Rise, managed gold status in 2013, joining “Awake” and “Comatose” (both certified platinum) as their award-winning albums.

From the brilliance of John Cooper and the angelic vocals of Jen Ledger, Skillet have had their fair share of singles on the Christian and rock charts and their status of releasing hit after hit hasn’t been tarnished by their latest release – Unleashed.

The first song off the album and the initial single, “Feel Invincible”, is a very dynamic piece of music that sets your heart racing from the beginning and only builds on that sensation throughout the song. The lyrics of the song serve as a reminder that we have people around us and they are there to help us through our darkest hours and make us feel invincible.

There are a total of 12 songs on the album and, to be honest, every single track could be a realised single. My two personal picks from the album that are yet to be released as singles are “Lions” and “Famous”.

Starting with “Lions”, it’s a typical Skillet anthem. The song is reminiscent of their 2013 release, “Rise”, an album that, to me, was all about overcoming fears and standing up to obstacles in life. “Lions” continues with this theme but moves on from the anarchy and speaks about fearing no evil, standing as giants and walking as lions.

“Famous” is emblematic of the slight tweak in Skillet’s style in 2016 that I seem to have picked up on, similarly to “Saviors of the World”. This new album has more of an electronic feel to it but just enough rock to categorise their new style in a similar spectrum as recent music by Papa Roach and Bring Me The Horizon and maybe even Korn’s 2011 release of “The Path of Totality”.

The dozen songs on Unleashed just fly by in a quarter of an hour; I’ve found myself listening to “Feel Invincible” for a second time and not even realising the record has gone full circle and is starting again.

Hard rock is a very difficult genre to create new music in that sounds new and different from others but Skillet have mastered the art of it. The unmistakable vocals of Cooper with Ledger providing some diversity to the proceedings have created the band a sound of their own and Unleashed is testament to that.


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