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Rock - Released August 25, 2009 | Atlantic Records

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Rock - Released August 5, 2016 | Atlantic Records

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Rock - Released November 17, 2017 | Atlantic Records

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Rock - Released August 2, 2019 | Atlantic Records

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After the release of 2016's Unleashed, Christian hard rock outfit Skillet spent the following years touring behind that effort, issuing an expanded edition of the album and helping drummer/vocalist Jen Ledger unveil her impressive, self-titled debut EP. Without rest, the quartet continued into 2019 with their tenth effort, Victorious, another set of characteristically hard-charging anthems that aim to glorify God and set spirits aflame. These are Jock Jams for Christ, an unrelenting barrage for those who get pumped up by faith, working out, or both. Is this the worship band of a metal-loving megachurch or an inspirational half-time show headliner? In Skillet's case, it could be both. Chunky riffs, pounding drums, and soaring choruses elevate their aggressive take on what is, at its heart and soul, worship music, especially on the soaring "Victorious," "Save Me," and "Terrify the Dark." Elsewhere, that motivational spirit is obvious by song title alone -- "Legendary," "Reach," and "Finish Line" are but a handful of unambiguous examples -- and the energy is absolutely infectious, whether the listener identifies as Christian or otherwise. Ledger remains the band's secret weapon, her clear vocals piercing through the storm and providing much-needed balance and harmony to frontman John Cooper's howls. In fact, much of Victorious sounds like it could have landed on the Ledger EP, especially "Victorious" and "Rise Up." Elsewhere, Skillet respectfully nod to Linkin Park ("You Ain't Ready"), Evanescence ("Save Me"), and even Imagine Dragons, whose unmistakable, foot-stomping sound heavily informs "This Is the Kingdom," which interpolates the Beatitudes and Jesus' "first will be last/last will be first" teachings found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Although Victorious isn't groundbreaking by any means, it's another satisfying, defiant, and rousing collection of spiritual hype music. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
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Rock - Released October 3, 2006 | Lava - Atlantic

This is a melodically stunning record in which instrumentation strikes the disc's first chord. "Rebirthing" is a grand opening statement. Guitarist Ben Kasica cooks a delectable platter of tasty lead fills that are accompanied by orchestral tones all over the disc. The same is true of the title track, "Comatose." Here the band uses a proven recipe -- staccato guitars, piano, and orchestration -- to bring the tune home. "The Last Night" feels like classic Skillet. The tune boasts a feel-good chorus that shouts "radio-friendly." The same can be said for "Yours to Hold," as John Cooper's familiar vocals and warm vibe emanate from the tune. The same sensation strikes the track "The Older I Get." Here, the tune is once again radio-ready with an infectious, singable chorus. Comatose is a record that sustains on many levels. Cooper is really on target. Quiet moments like "Say Goodbye" are effectively woven with heavier moments like "Those Nights." When guitar progressions meet piano nuances, special things happen with this band. ~ Steven Douglas Losey
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Rock - Released August 24, 2009 | Atlantic Records

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Rock - Released June 25, 2013 | Atlantic Records

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Rock - Released June 21, 2013 | Atlantic Records

Rise, Grammy Award-nominated Christian rockers Skillet's ninth studio album, is built around a loosely knit narrative that charts the course of an everyday teenager's ascension to adulthood, and the challenges of maintaining one's faith in a largely unforgiving world. Such a vague story, despite numerous evocative, yet largely unnecessary between-song interludes, yields little in the way of any kind of investable, individual emotional arc, but the more general themes of self-discovery, faith, love, and loss resonate enough to pull at least one of the listeners feet into the story. The tight, anthemic title cut sets the stage, offering up a rousing, radio-ready declaration of solidarity that admits to the cumbersomeness of youth while maintaining a glass-half-full world view, which is a common thread throughout the album's 12 immaculately produced tracks. Operating under a fairly generic umbrella that fuses alt-metal, hard rock, post-grunge, and soaring alternative rock, Skillet's faceless amiability is ultimately its downfall, and its penchant for following each full-on rocker like "Circus for a Psycho" and "Sick of It" with a midtempo ballad ("Good to Be Alive," "American Noise," respectively) gives the proceedings an air of inevitability that detracts from its supposed narrative. That said, it's hard to root against Rise, as its commercial aspirations are matched by its certainty that, despite the endless smackdowns delivered by the daily grind, goodness will ultimately prevail. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Rock - Released November 17, 2017 | Atlantic Records

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Rock - Released November 18, 2003 | Lava

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Rock - Released May 8, 2019 | Atlantic Records

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Rock - Released November 17, 2017 | Atlantic Records

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Rock - Released June 11, 2013 | Atlantic Records

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Rock - Released August 5, 2016 | Atlantic Records

Skillet's tenth LP, Unleashed, continues the journey that began on 2003's tonal shift Collide. The Nashville-based Christian band has always set itself apart from the CCM masses -- touring with secular hard rock bands and drawing huge festival crowds -- while sustaining an undying message of positivity and hope. Unleashed is aptly titled: two decades into their existence, Skillet have made their biggest album yet, an explosion of bombast and scope that draws on mainstream influences without wavering from their wholesome values. With contributions from Brian Howes (Halestorm, Daughtry), Kevin Churko (Disturbed, Five Finger Death Punch), Neal Avron (Linkin Park, Fall Out Boy), and Seth Mosley (Newsboys, TobyMac), Unleashed is also Skillet's most polished effort. Korey Cooper and Seth Morrison's riffs maintain the energy at caffeine-highs, while Jen Ledger's drumming pounds with precision intensity. Vocalist and sole founding member John Cooper holds everything together with a full-bodied delivery and consistently strategic lyrics that are subtle enough to please fans of any faith. The best moments on Unleashed are high-octane turbo blasts like "Feel Invincible," "Undefeated," and "Out of Hell," churning tracks that echo the fury of Muse or even, on the latter, Slipknot. They even borrow directly from Orgy's cover of "Blue Monday" on the bouncing "Burn It Down." Cooper's vocal interplay with his wife Korey and Ledger adds a brightness and cohesion similar to the best moments on 2009's Awake. Meanwhile, the orchestration and gravity that infused the Evanescence-lite Comatose layers stadium anthems like "I Want to Live" and the epic closer "The Resistance." All of these heavier moments elicit purely physical responses, but there are also breaks to pause and contemplate. Stripping back the headlong rock charge, Skillet include a few purely praise & worship breathers like the polished Killers-synthy "Stars," the Hillsong-with-bigger-amps "Lions," and the gorgeous "Watching for Comets." Whether in a giant mosh pit or a congregation of the faithful, Skillet know how to play a crowd and Unleashed succeeds on both fronts. ~ Neil Z. Yeung

Rock - Released May 20, 2016 | Atlantic Records

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Rock - Released August 21, 2009 | Atlantic Records

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The highest-charting Christian album on the Billboard charts since 2006, Awake could be tagged as Skillet's mainstream breakthrough on that fact alone. Certainly, the band's monster modern rock does sound like it could slip onto an active rock playlist -- maybe not quite in 2009, but earlier in the decade, when metallic rockers heavy on the guitar downstrokes and power ballads with chant-along vocals were relatively common. That's not to say that Skillet sound out-of-step with the times -- there's still a gleam to the Howard Benson production that sounds modern -- and they do mange to imprint their own identity on this sometimes generic brand of contemporary rock, thanks to their communal vocals, with male and female voices trading off and skyscraper hooks. Skillet also don't always focus solely on religion, as many of their songs are grounded in inspirational positivity, so that's another reason why Awake finds the band poised to break into the mainstream. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released June 21, 2013 | Atlantic Records

Rise, Grammy Award-nominated Christian rockers Skillet's ninth studio album, is built around a loosely knit narrative that charts the course of an everyday teenager's ascension to adulthood, and the challenges of maintaining one's faith in a largely unforgiving world. Such a vague story, despite numerous evocative, yet largely unnecessary between-song interludes, yields little in the way of any kind of investable, individual emotional arc, but the more general themes of self-discovery, faith, love, and loss resonate enough to pull at least one of the listeners feet into the story. The tight, anthemic title cut sets the stage, offering up a rousing, radio-ready declaration of solidarity that admits to the cumbersomeness of youth while maintaining a glass-half-full world view, which is a common thread throughout the album's 12 immaculately produced tracks. Operating under a fairly generic umbrella that fuses alt-metal, hard rock, post-grunge, and soaring alternative rock, Skillet's faceless amiability is ultimately its downfall, and its penchant for following each full-on rocker like "Circus for a Psycho" and "Sick of It" with a midtempo ballad ("Good to Be Alive," "American Noise," respectively) gives the proceedings an air of inevitability that detracts from its supposed narrative. That said, it's hard to root against Rise, as its commercial aspirations are matched by its certainty that, despite the endless smackdowns delivered by the daily grind, goodness will ultimately prevail. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Rock - Released June 14, 2019 | Atlantic Records

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Rock - Released June 14, 2019 | Atlantic Records

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Rock - Released October 20, 2008 | Atlantic Records

Following the success of 2006's Comatose -- which sold over 400,000 units -- Skillet toured with Flyleaf, Breaking Benjamin, and Three Days Grace over the course of 2007 and stayed on the road the following year. A live record could only do justice to those tours if it adequately captured the group's raw, pulsing energy and the growth and expansion of their sound over the years. And to the utter delight of fans, Comatose Comes Alive scores on both accounts. The CD/DVD was recorded in front of a deafening crowd in May 2008 at the Tivoli Theater in Chattanooga, TN. About two-thirds of the set list is derived from Comatose -- all five of that disc's number one hits are included, as well as lesser-known tracks and a few favorites from Collide and Alien Youth. The quality of the recording production made it able to seize all of the sonic nuances that made Comatose their magnum opus. John Cooper's blazing vocals are cranked to 11, and the group unleashes a furious wall of rock sound. ~ Jared Johnson