Review Rating: Must Listen [4.75/5.0]
Few groups in Christian music seem to have as much momentum leading up to release day as the multi-platinum selling, 2X GRAMMY nominated, band known as Skillet. With recent certifications of “Feel Invincible” (Platinum) and “Not Gonna Die” (Gold), it's no surprise that their highly anticipated new release, Victorious, was a top trend on iTunes over the weekend. Skillet recently lit up the FOX & Friends All American Concert Stage with live performances during the popular morning cable broadcast. And, their new collection is the only new release Hits Daily Double is highlighting this week. Even in light of so much expectation and anticipation, Skillet does not disappoint with their new record, set to drop August 2nd.
Skillet makes a strong opening with track one on the record, “Legendary.” Within the first ten seconds, you’ll be bobbing your head, raising your fist in the air and turning the volume way up. A massive sound is paired with compelling lyrics about the awesome resiliency that has been modeled by Christ. Never gonna keep me down (never keep me) / Still the one that's standin' now (never falling) / … Every day I'll fight to be / Legendary. This four-minute track is so good it leaves you wanting more and offers a preview of this high-quality collection. “Legendary” is bound to be one of those tracks that is a fan favorite during live shows.
“Terrify The Night” provides a well-timed breather to the top notch head bashing heard on "You Ain't Ready," "Save Me" and "Rise Up." Keyboard quietly opens this track, which is my personal favorite on the record. It feels like an anthem in its own right testifying to the strength to overcome struggles and freedom from evil that we have in Jesus. Your light will terrify the dark / I call upon the name that tears the night apart / My doubt will answer to your scars and fear will have no place. You are destined to be singing along to the chorus by the end of your first listen to this track. “Terrify The Night” feels like one of the most impactful moments on the record.
“Reach” is packed full of vulnerable lyrics in a call for help that we can all relate to. The vagueness of the opening lyrics allows the listener to imagine a host of scenarios where we feel like we are at the end of our ropes and we desperately call out to Christ amidst our feelings of helplessness. Where are you, I can’t find you / Broke in two, left behind you / Reach for me / I’m falling deep. It’s true that “no one ever wants to feel like this / no one wants to hurt like this,” but when we inevitably are face to face with the biggest struggles in life, it is an important reminder that we always have a friend in Jesus. Yet again Skillet has paired an A+ rock sound with honest and truth-filled lyrics.
Other must-mention highlights of the record include "Anchor" a sure to be chart-climber on K-LOVE, a stirring title track with "Victorious" and the very cool sounding "Finish Line" that you must listen to.
This record has everything, massive hard rock anthems, vulnerable lyrics that need to be heard and heart-wrenching moments as well. An overall emphasis on encouragement and resiliency arms listeners with a well-timed will to continue to remain faithful to the message of Jesus and fight for Christ each day. This album is arguably the biggest and most impactful Skillet release to date. Destined to make a huge impact in the rock community, Victorious also contains several potential cross-over hits that could bring the lifesaving message to an even larger audience.