Skillet's Domination of Rock| Posted January 18, 2022 What You Need To Know
Dominionis Skillet's 11th studio album. After 25 years, the band continues to deliver rock music with biblical messages. Dominion was led by four singles, including "Surviving the Game" and "Refuge," and extensive mainstream media presence and influence from the band. Lead singer John Cooper’s biblical life verses Romans 8:38-39 have shaped his songwriting throughout time. And this project is no different. Dominion is a celebration of freedom and overcoming our trials with faith in God.
What It Sounds Like
Skillet has continued its electronica sound used on previous albums without it being too prominent. However, Dominion offers some of the best songs that the band has written in recent years. These songs feature harmonization from John and fellow vocalist Jen Ledger. The ballads are radio-friendly and offer calming moments between the high-energy offerings. Fans of both new and mid-era Skillet will love this record.
Skillet's boldness in their faith is partially why they are a huge influence, both in music and media. Dominion is no exception. The messages found in these songs are, as the band says, celebrations of freedom. Some of the songwriting sounds familiar, because the theme of hope and power is frequent in the band's discography.
The messages found in Dominion are ones we need to hear, whether we're believers or not. Prayerful lyrics found in "Refuge" and "Valley of Death" will meet Christians in their walk with God and encourage them onward. Meanwhile, explosive tracks like "Surviving The Game" and "Shout Your Freedom" will offer much needed motivation to any who hear them. Overall, the celebration of freedom echoes Jesus' salvation well.
Skillet is reknowned for two elements in their music: anthemic rock tracks and heart-felt ballads. Both are present, so I'll offer my thoughts on both. Out of the ballads, "Valley of Death," "Refuge," and "Forever or the End," the third is the strongest. The harmonies between Jen and John Cooper beloved by many and shine well. "Forever or the End" also echoes a Comatose-era sound while fitting well into this modern set.
As for the best rock song, there are several fantastic new ones to choose from, but "Destiny" is the standout. There is great energy throughout the song, balancing both the emotional charge and rock and roll power. The melodic parts remind me of songs like "Awake and Alive" from their 2009 album, Awake, or "I Want to Live" from their 2016 album, Unleashed. The message is one of longing for better days; coming out of the darkness we find ourselves in.
Skillet's 11th record, Dominion, proves that the band is not losing their touch in the rock arena. They are consistent, which means that there are songs you expect and will find. However, the band has shown significant growth--both incorporating some of their recent works and otherwise pushing in a fresh, modern rock direction. The closing track is an anomaly, and a couple of the ballads feel dated, but as always, Skillet shines on all the energetic tracks. Skillet's Dominion offers motivation while focusing on victory and freedom through excellent rock music.
Kingdom-focused songs| Posted January 13, 2022 What You Need to Know This long awaited eleventh studio album Dominion by Skillet has captivated my spirit. Over the past several years, I've had the opportunity to speak with Skillet’s John Cooper about several songs from their prior albums, including "Awake and Alive,""One Day Too Late" and "Lucy,""American Noise,""Good to Be Alive,"“Stars,”“Lions,”“The Resistance,”“Legendary,”“Anchor,”“Save Me,”“Terrify the Dark,” and “Surviving the Game,” and with each discussion we've built on how John’s biblical life verses Romans 8:38-39 have shaped his songwriting. “Surviving the Game” sets the tone for the album. We're all united in our struggles and spiritual warfare, and in our desire for truth and relationship. These songs are prayers for God to teach us to realize that this life isn't forever. Help us to realize what we're living for. What am I wasting my time on? What am I doing with my life? We also need to think about what we are doing for His Kingdom. That's our dominion, and the theme of this album. That’s one of the threads that weaves its way through all twelve of these Kingdom-focused songs.
What it Sounds Like Over the years, it's been a treat for me to watch their meteoric ascent into one of rock's biggest bands in the world and the incredible success of their last five albums, Comatose, Awake, Rise, Unleashed and Victorious. Each album has reached another level of popularity. Arguably the bar has been set so high there is a possibility that some people may have unreachable expectations of how much higher Skillet can “Rise,” and I’m pleased to say that after repeated listens through all twelve tracks in order, I’m all in on these songs and the ear worms including "Surviving the Game," "Valley of Death," "Beyond Incredible," "Refuge" and the energetic track, "Forever or the End," keep me coming back for more with an excitement that builds with each listen.
Spiritual Highlights The project opens with "Surviving the Game" which has a celebratory vibe, and it builds to an exciting refrain that stirs my soul to cry out loudly “I am more than a conqueror." I'm really engaged by John Cooper’s emotional vocals and the sincere, enthusiastic and thought-provoking lyrics throughout the album. When I first heard "Surviving the Game," I was immediately hooked by the message, connected to the theme found in Romans 8:37: “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” That is how we can show the world what we are for instead of what we are against. Be followers of Jesus and make your life count.
"Refuge" features introspective lyrics and a beautiful refrain with John displaying emotive vocals. It is yet another reflective track in the vein of "Stars" and "Anchor" and includes another catchy musical vibe and the vertical message. As followers of Jesus, we can live out the words: “I can face my darkest night/'cause I trust You with my life/I'm not afraid/For You are my refuge/When it's heavy on my chest/You're the place I catch my breath/You are the only One I hold onto.” These are some of the strongest lyrics I've heard by this talented band, all in extremely catchy songs. John’s and Jen’s emotive vocals and the exciting musical bed takes me on an emotional journey that causes me to excitedly worship along with the stirring lyrics every time I hear the song.
Best Song on the Record All of these songs are poignant and powerful with earnest worshipful lyrics. "Valley of Death" features introspective lyrics and a beautiful refrain with John displaying emotive vocals. It is yet another reflective track in the vein of "Lucy" and includes another catchy musical vibe and the poignant message based on Psalm 23. Longtime Skillet fans will be most excited by the standout tracks, "Surviving the Game," "Standing in the Storm," "Dominion," "Beyond Incredible," "Refuge," and the energetic track, "Forever or the End."
Final Word Skillet is back with Dominion, one of my top rock albums of the year from both the Christian and mainstream music markets. The album includes standout recordings like the sing at the top of your lungs anthems “Surviving the Game,” "Standing in the Storm,” “Dominion,” and “Beyond Incredible,” along with the reflective vibe of “Valley of Death” and “Refuge.” From my first listen, I wanted to tell others about this great new album. If you’ve always liked Skillet, you'll love this new album. Dominion is one of the catchiest, most energetic, and emotionally engaging rock albums I've heard this year. This is my favorite overall Skillet record and I have been a “panhead” from the self-titled debut. Right as I got to “Forever or the End” in listening to the album in track order, I realized this is the Skillet album I’ve been waiting for and Dominion is the album that is needed “for such a time as this.”