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SKILLET (1996)
Skillet - Click to view! Unafraid to struggle, intensely followed rock band Skillet premiere with 10 songs of absolute Heaven for all fans of aggressive music. With tension unknown to the mainstream CCM, "I Can" shares a deep fear of not being able to surrender and eventually realizing, "I can come to You." #1 Christian rock radio hit "Gasoline" continues the theme, relating, "Soak my heart in gasoline ~ Light a match and consume me" with slamming bass and crunchy guitars. The sound here is admittedly raw and the stereo quality low, but this undying enthusiasm and deep, textured Truth birth an anticipation of the next track, and the next...and so on. While the most widely known Skillet song, "Saturn"'s acoustic, light mix aren't the musical norm for the band, it does give clarity to the message of believing in redemption and life change. Profound idea is seen in track 4, wherein we "Cut down a tree ~ I nailed myself to the wood" only to realize it's uselessness when the Perfect Sacrifice was made 2,000 years ago. The ska-strumming yields to hard anthemic rock crying for God to take the "Promise Blender" of His grace; another variation on this theme is "Paint" which emphasizes Jesus' Spirit giving to our lives. "Safe with You" again ventures into a driving pop with it's praise of God's salvation and glory. Never losing a spark of blazing passion for Christ, Skillet continues with "You Thought" which challenges drowning the in "the most believable lie"; while "Boundaries" (thirsting for the cool waves of the Holy Spirit) and "Splinter" (twisting a message of death to self) close this disc of layered intensity. Finding hope in contemplation and direction in confusion, Skillet's strong dissonance echoes with a pure faith.
- Josh M. Shepherd
April 1999
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