Review by Andy Hawes for MPM
US Christian Hard Rockers Skillet return to action with a ferocious new single ‘Surviving the Game’ from their upcoming album, Dominion which drops on 14th January 2022.
Skillet’s musical history is chock full of monumental Hard Rock anthems and this new single continues that rich and varied legacy. It’s an absolutely killer track, built on a colossal riff that has more than a hint of Nu Metal in its tone. It’s a down-tuned, massively distorted and thunderously heavy riff and is a savage aural assault that pummels the senses into submission, assisted by John Cooper’s rasping vocals. Hugely melodic one moment, heavily effected the next and full Metal screaming the next, Cooper makes his mark on this track and leads from the front throughout.
The songwriting on this track is excellent. The way in which the song combines the brutal Nu-Metal style riffs and ultra-infectious major key chorus melodies is excellent: Skillet are masters of this and they prove the point once again here. You’ll be yelling along with the massive chorus after only a couple of listens before banging your head ferociously when the riffs explode into life again.
As with all Skillet’s recent tracks, John Cooper’s excellent lead vocal is ably supported by drummer Jen Ledger’s vocal trade-offs. It’s a Skillet trademark and they wouldn’t sound the same without her. Her voice on ‘Surviving the Game’ is angelically clean and pure and is the perfect counter to John Cooper’s rasping roar throughout the track.
Mention must also be made of Korey Cooper’s contributions to the song – along with lead guitarist Seth Morrison, her guitar moves from brutal thundering riffs, to gigantic slabs of chordal power. Beneath the guitars are layers of electronica that add a rich colour to Skillet’s Hard Rock palette. Though not as prominent or as EDM-influenced as on some of Skillet’s more recent material, Korey’s electronica contributions once again lift Skillet’s sound out of the ordinary and add very significantly to the song.
Lyrically, the track follows most of Skillet’s music in that it avoids the type of Godly preaching that can spoil a lot of Christian Rock for the secular listener.
Instead, the lyric to this track appears to be about standing tall, facing your fears and kicking ass in the face of adversity, thereby enabling one to ‘survive the game’ that is everyday life. There’s a ton of energy in the whole thing: it makes you want to stand up and scream defiance to the world, which is exactly the point.
Skillet know their audience well, especially the lonely, the sad, the disenfranchised, the weak and the vulnerable and this track, like so many before it, provides that audience with encouragement to be defiant, to be courageous and to stand tall. Positive messages in a world that is so often anything but positive.
Skillet have knocked the ball clean out of the park with this track and it’s a most welcome return. It’s a colossal slab of modern Hard Rock, is utterly and completely outstanding and certainly whets the appetite for the upcoming album. January can’t get here fast enough. Absolutely, completely essential!
Exlcusive Pre-order Bundles available now! https://skillet.com/dominion
Get “Surviving the Game”: https://skillet.lnk.to/STG
Pre-Order/Pre-Save Dominion: https://skillet.lnk.to/Dominio