The first thought that went through my head when I heard Skillet’s, Awake, was “why haven’t I heard of this band sooner?” Although they’ve been around since the late 90s, Skillet has somehow managed to escape my eardrums. Now that I’ve found them, I don’t plan to ever let them go.
Take Austin Winkler from Hinder and combine his voice with the music of Three Days Grace, and you’ll have a good understanding of what Skillet’s Awake sounds like. It’s an exceptional blend of modern and progressive rock that’s bound to get anyone on their feet and rocking.
Awake is an excellent introduction to the band. A hard rocking, progressive metal album that has a unique flavor to it, this disc is pleasure to the ears. If you like your rock and roll loud and proud, you are going to love Skillet’s Awake.
The album opens with the heavy hit, “Hero.” Lead singer John Cooper shares the vocals on this song with his wife Korey and the two voices complement each other very well. The opening guitar riff from Ben Kasica and the heavy synthesizer from Korey Cooper set the stage nicely for this hard pounding rock anthem.
“Monster,” the second track, continues the hard rock mayhem that is central to Awake. Kasica shows off exceptional guitar work and drummer Jen Ledger keeps the pace fast and furious with a steady drum beat. John Cooper’s vocals are strong on this track. Monster is a song that will have you head banging in no time.
You want ballads? Awake has those too. “Don’t Wake Me” is a soft acoustical journey through romance that would make Hinder fans jealous. “Don’t Wake Me” is an incredibly beautiful song that was well arranged with the perfect blend of acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and keyboard harmony. Bound to be a radio hit with the romantic ballad lovers, “Don’t Wake Me” shows the depth of Skillet. This is an incredible song that everyone is certain to love.
“One Day Too Late” is the best song on the album. Not only is it an instant rock classic, but the message in the music is a powerful one that makes the listener think. Starting soft and sweet, John Cooper talks about having so much to do and not knowing if there is enough time to accomplish it all. However, the message isn’t about getting a personal agenda taken care of. The message in this song is trying harder to do the things that matter most. Forgive your enemies. Forget the pains of the past. Do your best to make the world a better place, because tomorrow could be one day too late.
“Should’ve When You Could’ve” is another hard rocking hit that touches on themes of revenge in its best form, as a dish served cold. Cooper’s lyrics talk about no longer trusting a lover who could have been the only one. However, the moment was blown and the muse is going to miss the love they had. One day that will be realized and that’s when the revenge will be its sweetest. Another incredible song, “Should’ve When You Could’ve” helps to strengthen the greatness of this record.
Packed with hard rocking hits, sweet soft ballads, and a sound that is familiar, yet unique, Awake is a solid hard rock record that should be added to your collection. If you’re a fan of Theory of a Deadman or Hinder, you are going to love Skillet’s Awake. Capturing the modern rock sound with the progressive groove, Awake is a meaningful album that I wish I discovered sooner.
Rating: Out of 10
- Don’t Wake Me
- Awake And Alive
- One Day Too Late
- It’s Not Me It’s You
- Should’ve When You Could’ve
- Never Surrender
John Cooper – lead vocals, bass
Korey Cooper – keyboards, backing vocals, rhythm guitar, synthesizers
Ben Kasica – Lead Guitar
Jen Ledger – Drums, backing vocals