Let’s start with a little preamble. When I hear the term ‘Christian rock’ a shudder goes down my spine as I conjure up images of a group with the sole aim of convincing me to follow a specific religious path. Don’t get me wrong, I would never pass judgment on anyone that follows any form of religion, each to their own, but, for me, it’s simply not something in which I wish to partake.
So, several years back, when I heard of this band Skillet who combined hard rock with a symphonic metal sound utilizing both male and female vocals and that they had an incredible album, Rise, my interest was peaked. But, once I learned that they started their career as a Christian rock band, I instantly rejected them – shamefully, my personal feelings at the time biased me against anything religious. Years later, when I unknowingly heard their music, I was shocked to learn this was the group I had callously rejected. I felt cheated and tricked by my own myopic tendencies as I realized that, although the band had certain beliefs, it didn’t mean that the music they created suffered as a result. I learned an important lesson I didn’t even realise I needed about sub-conscious prejudices, and I found a killer new band to enjoy; the very best of double whammies!
Ok, enough babble about what I learned. Is Victorious any good? My answer is a clear, unbiased YES! The whole album is packed with epic anthems, kick-ass guitar riffs, powerful vocals and earth shattering drum beats. It’s clear right from the outset with the opening track “Legendary,” a catchy tune that will entice many sing-alongs during live shows. The momentum continues through “You Ain’t Ready” before things shift slightly with the title track, “Victorious,” which tones down the heavy a little whilst maintaining the epic sound fans have come to expect from Skillet.
Become “Legendary” with Skillet’s lyric video for the intro track off Victorious.
“Save Me” and “Rise Up” both echo the reactions I had when first hearing Rise: a very real heightened pulse rate and increased heartbeat throbbing throughout my body. Which is a feeling I got in my early years as a rock fan; a feeling that has sadly decreased over time.
Skillet also demonstrate their more chilled out-side with “Anchor,” a song that takes you on an emotional roller-coaster. I can’t be sure if vocalist John Cooper is speaking to his band-mate and wife Korey Cooper or addressing God Himself, but it’s almost irrelevant to the listener, as it oozes such positivity with every note.
Victorious (pre-order and save options here) is an album which is exactly that; every song has been produced with love and dedication and it really is a victory for the band as a whole. My next task is to see these guys in person and, since the positivity they emanate through their songs is exceptional, I can only imagine what a live show is like. I also look forward to the irony of any devil horns that are thrown up by fans who don’t know of Skillet’s Christian beliefs.
“You Ain’t Ready” for the band’s latest single and lyric video!
Victorious Track Listing:
02. You Ain’t Ready
04. This is the Kingdom
05. Save Me
06. Rise up
07. Terrify the Dark
08. Never Going Back
11. Finish Line
12. Back to Life
Run Time: 40:31
Release Date: August 2, 2019
Record Label: Atlantic Records