“Comatose”, the seventh full-length album from Christian rock band Skillet, set to be released Oct. 3, produces a whole new direction from Skillet’s history. Throughout the album, Skillet attempts to leave its electro-rock past and embrace a new radio-metal sound. But there are still tracks where Skillet reverts to sounds that echo the band it was in its first six albums.
“Yours to Hold” is the most appealing of the first five tracks. It employs a distinct and unique sound that blends well with lyrics that have more depth than any past Skillet album. Yet the lyrical complexity is lost on the track “Better than Drugs,” with lines such as, “You are better than drugs/I feel you coming to get me high.”
The most original song due to the issue-heavy lyrics – which is something new in Skillet’s repertoire – is “Looking for Angels.”
The best performance of the new, edgier sound is, “Whispers,” which is probably Skillet’s best chance at a major hit because it employs a heavier guitar part that caters to lead singer John Cooper’s vocal qualities.
This album is likely to sell better than any other album that Skillet has produced. But in return, the listener loses the uniqueness that sets Skillet apart from the other Christian rock bands. The greatest positive on the album is Cooper’s maturing lyrics, save “Better than Drugs,” which address struggles and issues that everyone can relate to, rather than focusing on evangelism alone like albums of the past.
If you are an old-school Skillet fan, this album might leave you wondering and wanting more, but if you are a radio-rock fan, this is probably the first Skillet album that is right up your alley.
Bands with similar sounds are Bush, Fuel, 12 Stones and Pillar.
Rating: 5 out of 10