Skillet "Unleashed"
by Andrew Funderburk (CMADDICT ) on 2016-06-06 16:57:43

With platinum and gold certified albums and a strong presence in both Christian and mainstream rock, Skillet has identified themselves a strong force on the rock scene. On top of that, with “Unleashed” being released in the year of their 20th anniversary as a band, this album has quite a bit to live up to.

“Unleashed” starts aggressively with synthy, rock tracks “Feel Invincible” and “Back from the Dead”. These songs may carry listeners back to the earlier Skillet days, but they don’t feel as musically dark as previous like “Rise” or “Awake”. These tracks carry a more peppy, light-hearted feel rather than the head banging Skillet that the listener has become accustomed to. The album carries that light-hearted feel and slows down quite a bit with the first album single, “Stars”, “Famous”, and the K-LOVE-esque style song “Lions”. The album does pick up a bit more steam with the ending tracks “Out of Hell”, synth-laced “Burn It Down” and “Saviors of the World”, and “The Resistance”. Due to the constant slow down and pick up, “Unleashed” feels a bit like riding a rollercoaster at times. Looking over the tracks from another perspective would be that this album holds a little bit of each of their sounds over their 20-year history.

The main lyrical drive for the project would be that of standing up and staying strong in the face of enemies. This is seen on tracks like “Feel Invincible” (I’m invincible/I’m unshakable/Through the truth in my soul), “Back from the Dead” (Feel the rush, feel the rush of adrenaline/We are young, we are strong, we will rise/'Cause I'm back, back, back from the dead tonight), and “The Resistance” (I am a soldier, I won't surrender/Faith is like a fire that never burns to embers). While the lyrics are never bad, they can sometimes be a little too much CCM influence with songs like “Famous” and “Lions”.

If we’re comparing this album to previous projects, “Unleashed” would not appear to be Skillet’s best project to date in light of it being spotty musically; however, the album does have its stand out moments with some crazy guitar riffs, cool synth sounds, and a new whispery vocal from John Cooper that hasn’t been heard previously. Overall, the album feels more pop-driven musically and lyrically a lot of times. While I’m sure there is a purpose behind this change of pace and sound, it feels strange when carrying the past sounds of Skillet in one’s mind.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Genre: Rock
Label: Atlantic Records
Release Date: August 5, 2016
Buy it: Amazon - iTunes

1) Feel Invincible
2) Back From The Dead
3) Stars
4) I Want To Live
5) Undefeated
6) Famous
7) Lions
8) Out Of Hell
9) Burn It Down
10) Watching For Comets
11) Saviors Of The World
12) The Resistance


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