Without a doubt, Skillet is back and stronger than ever. “Unleashed” is easily their best album since “Comatose”. This album is the most cohesive piece of work John Cooper and company have put together. Their last effort “Rise” was FANTASTIC, in its own right. They took a stab at making a concept album with Rise and it really paid off for them, the story told within that album was a great work of art and it will forever be one of my favorite Skillet albums. However, the first time I heard the lead single, “Feel Invincible” from “Unleashed”, which is also thefirst track on the album, I was honestly not impressed. It seemed as though Skillet had put themselves in this cookie cutter rock formula but when I am wrong…. well, I am wrong. Hearing the song within the context of the album, it makes so much more sense and I love it. It starts off the album with the energy you expect from Skillet, Especially in their live shows. This song NEEDS to open the shows.
“Back From the Dead” is the second track on the album and it picks up right where “Feel Invincible” leaves off. The riff to kick off this song comes on like a freight train and John Cooper’s vocal keeps the train at 100MPH, delivering aggressive lines one after another. I can’t wait to be at a show and be in the crowd chanting “Cause I’m back from the Dead Tonight!”. This one is sure to cause some mosh pits. “Stars” is the first point in which the album slows down. This track is a classic Skillet, Christian themed ballad and it has some SERIOUS heaviness to it. If you go to church, don’t be surprised if you start to hear your house band playing this one in your worship service.
Next up is “I Want to Live” and this track kicks off with those signature string sections Skillet is known for. This song NEEDS to be sent to radio. The vocal play between Cooper and Drummer Jen Ledger is better than EVER here. I am a HUGE fan of Jen’s vocals and this is probably my second favorite song I have ever heard her be featured in. Please Skillet, release this as a single and thank me for its massive success later! “Undefeated” is a mid temp lover’s dream, keeping a steady pace throughout. The chorus of this track would drive crowds crazy in a live setting.
So the next 2 tracks are easily the lowest point in the album, for me. “Famous” seems like a dance tune and just doesn’t seem like it fits on this album. Also, “Lions” is another classic Skillet ballad but again, just like “Famous”, it doesn’t fit here. Now don’t get me wrong, neither song is BAD. I can see that there could be an audience for them but I feel like it breaks the immersion that the album has maintained so far. However, despite those 2 tracks, the album kicks right back into gear with the heaviest tracks. The guitars in the song “Out Of Hell” sound like something Five Finger Death Punch would write. It’s a KILLER track, absolutely love this. I feel like the next 2 tracks, “Burn It Down” and “Watching for Comets” should have taken the place of “Famous” and “Lions”. They are both songs that I can see being massive Skillet Anthems from this album and the other 2 songs could have been saved for the next album.
The last 2 tracks are “Saviors of The World” and “The Resistance”. “Saviors of the World” has such a fantastic chorus, I love listening to it at full blast. “The Resistance” has become my favorite Skillet song EVER. Remember earlier how I said “I Want to Live” is my second favorite song ever with Jen? Well that’s because “The Resistance” is now my absolute favorite. This song has everything a huge Skillet hit is supposed to have. Huge guitars, a massive string section, John and Jen sounding their absolute best to a KILLER beat underneath. This song will be a huge staple for their live shows from now on, mark my words. Plus, the ending of the song is just pure shred madness from guitarist Seth Morrison.
Everything about this album screams SKILLET CLASSIC! Please, do yourself a MASSIVE favor and pick this up when it drops on August 5th!