Glam and grunge commingle with glory in Skillet’s zippy tunes and catechistic lyrics. Hooky riffs, theatrical string samples and yearning vocals meld into pristine tracks that don’t roam far from a four-minute mean. Clockwork timing and spot-on pitch combine for a sound unblemished enough to be heavenly.
Appropriate enough since the saving power of divine perfection informs each effort on the contemporary Christian band’s sixth album, Comatose. “Rebirthing” leads off in the voice of a vegetative paralytic: “I wanna break out/I need a way out…I take you in/I’ve died/Rebirthing now.” The consolations of faith are similarly offered as a remedy for suicidal depression (“The Last Night”) and social ills from poverty to pornography (“Looking for Angels”).
“Better Than Drugs” most clearly presents the premise to which the polished professionals of Skillet have committed their efforts: “Feel you comin’ on so fast/Feel you comin’ to get me high/You’re better than drugs/Addicted for life.” Into the breach between the life’s promise and living’s pain rushes overproduced, major-label alt rock with an otherworldly set of answers.
“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions,” wrote Karl Marx, famously adding, “It is the opium of the people.” Why begrudge Comatose its narcosis? (Jason Wiener)
Skillet plays SHEC Community Center, 1919 North Ave. W., Friday, Oct. 26, at 8 PM. $18/$15 advance.