Reviewed by Tony Cummings
By now, tens of thousands of hard rock lovers will have heard many of the powerful and uplifting tracks on this album and no doubt "Legendary", "Victorious" and "Terrify The Dark" will be on countless fans' personal playlists like they're on the Cross Rhythms radio ones. The band's frontman John Cooper said about their tenth album, "'Victorious' perfectly describes how the record makes me feel. You wake up, face your own demons every day, and never give in. There's an introspective side to it. We might've commented on the world explicitly on previous albums. This one is about looking inward. Perhaps it's because I've gotten a little older, and I've accepted struggle as part of the journey. When I listen to these songs, I want to fight for my life, I want to fight for who I am, and I want to fight for what I believe in." Not for the first time, their album has split the critics both non-Christian and Christian. Rock 'n' Load mag called it "an absolute killer of an album" going on to praise the "slamming riffage fused with highly addictive melodic quality songwriting male this album yet another to add to an already illustrious career with an embarrassing wealth of accolades to their name. A band with serious quality running through their veins", while the notorious, money-driven anti-Christian website Sputnik Music gave it a tepid 2.5 out of 5 review. But the fact that Cross Rhythms and xRhythms have chosen seven out of the 12 songs on 'Victorious' for radio play will give you a clear indicator that the band have lost none of their ability now that John and Korey Cooper have taken over much of the production. Standouts are "You Ain't Ready", a powerful call to courage and strength; the electronica-tinged "Never Going Back"; and "Victorious", with Jen Ledger's drumming and vocal bringing alive honest lyrics ("Can't change this overnight though Heaven knows I've tried/Here I go again/I need a Saviour now, someone to break me out/Who's been the place I've been"). Possibly the best track of all though is "Terrify The Dark" ("No power on Earth, no power in Hell is gonna steal my peace/Ten thousand enemies, they will end up on their knees/When I'm hopeless, I can know this - you're with me"). Yep, Skillet have delivered and fully deserves the Grammy award it must surely now be on the blocks to win.
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