Skillet is a name associated with hard rock music, passionate lyrics, and success. Besides winning multiple music awards, selling over 12 million units over their career, their music was selected to be used by the WWE, ESPN, and NFL. Skillet’s album ‘Awake’ reached double platinum sales and their last three albums all hit the Top 5 on the Billboard 200.
Skillet’s most recent album, ‘Unleashed’, released in August 2016, peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200. It was a phenomenal album with amazing singles like “Feel Invincible”. The song is a hard-hitting rock tune with a heavy guitar riff and bass line to match. Lyrically it catches you quickly to sing and follow along. The song was used by the WWE for their Battleground 2016 pay-per-view event. “Stars” is a beautiful ballad that is both uplifting and powerful. The song was used in the movie “The Shack” earlier this year. And then songs like “Famous” that provide a different spin on their hard rock sound the album was an absolute smashing success for Skillet.
On November 17th, the band released a new edition of the album titled ‘Unleased Beyond’. The album included the original 12 tracks plus 5 unreleased and 3 remixes. The original 12 tracks still sound as good as they did in the original release. The 5 new releases start with “Breaking Free”. It’s a good solid rock song that will remind fans of “Awake and Alive”. The song surprise is the vocal talent of Lacey Sturm, former vocalist of Flyleaf. She harmonizes beautifully with John Cooper and her stand-alone vocals are solid. “Stay Til The Daylight” is another touching ballad, emotionally charged, and vocally chilling. It’s a song that could have easily been made a single for a new album. “Brave” is another ballad but has a faster rock beat than the previous. This song has that uplifting, positive, emotional power that you want to play on repeat over and over again. “You Get Me High” gets back to their rock sound, but has a little bit of blues or Southern rock groove to it. It’s a nice change of pace. And though the title could be misconstrued, Skillet fans will immediately know and hear it’s a song charged with Skillet’s passion for their faith and belief in God. Finally, “Set It Off” gives us another heavy rock tune in the style we’re used to from Skillet. I actually loved this song a lot with its catchy beat and that recognizable guitar and bass work.
The remixes are a nice spin on the original songs. To me, if a band releases a remix, I want it to retain some of the original and sound different. Skillet definitely succeeds here. “Feel Invincible (Y2K Remix)” actually slows the song down a beat with a different backing track and I loved it. Though the vocal pacing never changes, the new backtrack makes it a refreshing version of the original. “The Resistance (SOLI Remix)” pulls the heavy rock sound out and replaces it with a more techno/scratch mix. It wasn’t something I expected to be done for a Skillet song, yet it works and works well. Lastly, “Stars (Original cinematic remix)” takes the acoustic movie version and replaces it with more keyboard driven version. Though I prefer the acoustic version, this remix still provides a beautiful rendition of the song.
For Skillet fans who didn’t buy “Unleashed”, “Unleashed Beyond” is the album to buy. Should Skillet fans who bought “Unleashed” buy this Delxue Edition? Absolutely! It provides 5 great new tracks for one and fans will appreciate the 3 remixes to compare with the originals. “Unleashed Beyond” is also a great introduction album to those who are not acquainted with Skillet. “Unleashed Beyond” is available through all physical and digital music retailers.