Skillet
Dominion


3.0
good

Review

by Clifgard USER (14 Reviews)
January 15th, 2022 | 59 replies


Release Date: 01/14/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Caution: the Skillet is getting warmer.

Skillet’s undeniably successful brand of shiny radio-ready mom-rock and soft-metal has rarely piqued my interest as a rock music fan. I spent years pretentiously rolling my eyes when friends and fans would point to the band as the watermark for quality Christian rock, as if their sales figures and frequent sports event placements were sole indicators of lasting artistic value (the phenomenal Collide excluded). But after spinning up 2019’s catchy single “Legendary,” my then-two-year-old son must have heard something in their formula that I did not. Thus, the album Victorious soon became a regular spin on the Saturday-afternoon coffee runs that became a staple of peri-pandemic toddler-parent life that served as a poor substitute to “date night” for my wife and me.

And a strange thing happened - I began to actually enjoy listening to Skillet. Art snobbery is a young man’s projection of ambition upon that which he deems inferior to what he strives to achieve, but time can be revealing; as a guitarist, I realize that my riff-writing tends to be more “Monster” than “Master of Puppets.” So when I stumbled upon the latest single “Surviving the Game,” I was willing to give it a chance. The introductory statement: “To be more than a conqueror, you have to learn to enjoy the pain - if you want to survive the game.” Yep, this is a Skillet song, alright.

But wait! A riff! A real, genuine, head-banging riff, replete with the occasional scream! And they show up with unusual frequency (for a Skillet album) throughout the record’s runtime. I recognize that would be damning with faint praise if not for my opinion on guitarist Seth Morrison’s craftsmanship on the title track - which contains one of the best guitar solos in recent memory - and the encore performance on “Beyond Incredible.” Likewise, singer John Cooper’s laser-focus on delivering solid melodic hooks pays dividends, especially on album highlight “Standing in the Storm,” where Cooper’s rap-like flow melds perfectly with his soaring vocal performance. Drummer Jen Ledger gets a chance to shine both rhythmically and vocally in the Comatose-by-way-of-Korn rocker “Destiny,” and even wife and rhythm guitarist Korey Cooper lays down a solid performance in the surprisingly-tender “Forever or the End.”



The real surprise from Dominion comes from its versatility, as made evident by album highlights “Valley of Death” and “Destroyer.” The former is the strongest ballad the band has ever penned, beginning with the hauntingly soft percussion of a quiet piano and little else - granting Cooper a massive space to let his weathered voice explore the limits of its impressive dynamics and range. The latter finds Skillet fully embracing a bass-forward industrial groove-metal sound not unlike the best of Death Therapy, and I fully expect many a fan of “The Older I Get” to be reaching for the “skip” button on their minivan dashboards - more of this, I say! Closer “White Horse” is perhaps even more polarizing, leaning heavily into apocalyptic industrial rap-rock. I’m not quite sure I love it, but I can’t help but applaud it.

Unfortunately, the somewhat juvenile party-rock anthem “Shout Your Freedom” adds little of value, and neither does “Ignite,” which sees Skillet retreating to their comfort zone a little too heavily, even if it does manage to one-up many of the band’s previous radio rock numbers with an infectious groove. Ultimately, Dominion could dispense with either or both of these tracks and not really lose anything in the process, but I get along with them well enough to stop shy of saying it would be a better album without them.

Likewise, while the ballads here do exhibit a touch of newfound maturity to the lyricism, the rest pretty much falls into the “God will help you overcome” encouragement schtick that Skillet is known for - it’s perfectly fine, and difficult to elaborate further.

Despite the title making it sound like an unnecessary retread of 2019’s Victorious, Dominion manages to consistently vault the bar set by Skillet over the past couple of decades and is arguably their strongest offering since 2003’s sludgy masterwork Collide. There’s not much on offer here to listeners seeking technical prowess or a unique musical experience. But for the first time in quite some time, Skillet has crafted something that’s as equally enjoyable with the volume cranked up as it is providing a backdrop to coffee-fueled car-ride small talk and garage DIY shenanigans. The Skillet is not quite hot yet, but it’s warming up - and I look forward to what Cooper and company cook up in the future.



Recent reviews by this author
Seventh Day Slumber Death By AdmirationPlini Sunhead
Tremonti A Dying MachineDisciple (USA-TN) Long Live the Rebels
Lacey Sturm Life ScreamsFalling Up Falling Up
user ratings (51)
2.2
poor


Comments:Add a Comment 
lowkeykindofaunit
January 15th 2022


67 Comments


I can not believe that this review just convinced me to check out a new Skillet album in the year 2022. Can't say I loved what I heard but it was less offensive than I expected, so good review lol, pos'd

Purpl3Spartan
January 15th 2022


3543 Comments


What.

Digging:

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2022


17113 Comments


I believe he/they/she are willing to check this album out based on the review.

Crxmateo
January 15th 2022


90 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

White Horse is the worst thing this band has ever released imo. The record is certainly a step up from Victorious, but leaves a LOT to be desired

Digging: Lizzy McAlpine - five seconds flat

bananatossing
January 15th 2022


1936 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I mean, it's not nearly as terrible as the past three albums but that's not saying much.

cor22222
January 15th 2022


410 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Maybe it's better than last two-three, but I am looking at Cooper from the other side, as he is a truly gigachad. Imagine selling same stuff for x times, sounding even worse than anytime else (his screams and electronic parts are just awful), and still getting big amount of recognition. There must be something higher in this married-band pact. Only sounds variation save Dominion, Cooper's voice is just annoying and bad.

Digging: Pure Reason Revolution - Above Cirrus

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2022


17475 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Marginally better than their last one, but it’s still total trash

cor22222
January 15th 2022


410 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

The fact that people keep listen to them and writing about Skillet is the phenomenon alone, even my will, I don't like them now, and you see... I writing, but why? In the name of what?

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2022


17113 Comments


Is this on your hit list Simon

Emim
January 15th 2022


32171 Comments


Those middle two recommended albums are interesting picks.

This isn't bad at least, just really boring. I'll always have a soft spot for Collide/Comatose

Digging: Crucified - Coldest Winter; Darkest Reaches of the Mind

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2022


17475 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

@cor



People love getting punished



@gnocci



This year is off to a good start. Aoty lol

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2022


17475 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Collide was solid. In recent years I’ve learned that I hate the singer’s voice though, and age only makes it worse — for him and me

Get Low
January 15th 2022


12349 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Awful album as usual.

Toondude10
January 15th 2022


14831 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

oh shit Clifgard's back lol

Clifgard
January 15th 2022


28 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Lol @toondude, I never really left, just had a job that ate up all my time for a while



@Emim yeah, I felt like this album tries to do things that both of those albums do better



@cor I totally get it, I could never find it in me to argue with someone about Skillet lol

Koris
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2022


14964 Comments


Haven’t been interested in these guys in ages, since nothing of theirs remotely matched Collide or Comatose imo. But I might check this one based on the review, pos’d

Toondude10
January 15th 2022


14831 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah this is definitely a Skillet album for sure lmfao



as a Skillet album though this actually isn't too bad, better than their past couple of albums but let's face it how much is that saying

William21
January 15th 2022


746 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I did like that, with a couple exceptions, this one was more consistently rock than the last two albums



Seriously though what the hell is White Horse

MercySeat
January 15th 2022


419 Comments


I don't torrent out of principle. I would, however, torrent this album completely out of principle.

tyman128
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2022


3148 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

a couple good moments overshaddowed by awful moments.... sounds like a modern skillet album

I enjoyed like Beyond Incredible and Destiny, but man oh man was White Horse an interesting one

Digging: Zach Bryan - American Heartbreak



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy