Skillet – Dominion: Day Of Destiny

Atlantic Records / Hear It Loud / Fair Trade Services

Release Date: February 17th 2023

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

Skillet– Dominion: Day Of Destiny (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. Surviving The Game
  2. Standing In The Storm
  3. Dominion
  4. Valley of Death
  5. Beyond Incredible
  6. Destiny
  7. Refuge
  8. Shout Your Freedom
  9. Destroyer
  10. Forever or the End
  11. Ignite
  12. White Horse
  13. Crossfire
  14. Psycho In My Head
  15. Finish Line (feat. Adam Gontier)
  16. Unbreakable Soul
  17. The Defiant

You know how sometimes in your life, there can be a catalyst for you to notice something about someone that is actually very cool, and maybe after that fact, you may gain more and more respect for that person? Confused? Well, let me explain a bit. See, in 2019 around about August (while we are in the midst of our blog series about influential artists of all time!), a couple of famous celebrity Christians announced that they were leaving Christianity for various reasons. And one of the first responses from the Christian community came from one of the most unexpected and unlikely places. Mainstream rockers Skillet have always had one foot in the CCM and one foot in the mainstream market. But on this day, lead singer John Cooper firmly affirmed himself in the Christian faith, as he unashamedly addressed the ‘falling away’ of believers, and encouraged us all to know Jesus from the Word of God and to read the Word of God so that our faith cannot be shaken and our faith can be rooted in the words of Jesus which do not ever, ever change. Since that day, I’ve become more of a Panhead (Skillet fan) than ever before! To this day I am still a Skillet fan.

Probably one of the most influential crossover Christian bands ever (who have had a massive following and impact in the mainstream industry right now, after having had long time success in Christian radio back in the day); rock band Skillet, comprising of lead singer John Cooper, bassist and keyboardist Korey Cooper (wife of John), guitarist Seth Morrison and drummer Jen Ledger; seem to be right now putting their feet in the right places, stepping into what God has called them to do, which is minister to both Christian and mainstream markets. Alongside other bands such as Switchfoot, Needtobreathe and Relient K, Skillet have this uncanny knack for creating hard hitting and poignant melodies thematically and lyrically relevant today, but doing so covertly, and not even mentioning the name of Jesus sometimes in a few tracks, so as not to scare off listeners and fans of different world views. Regardless of each of your opinions of a Christian band in the mainstream, and not fully praising God overtly in every single melody; you can’t deny the passion of these four men and women of God, as they go out into the world and deliver the gospel to everyone they meet.

As a site we’ve reviewed plenty of Skillet albums (inclusive of their most recent project Victorious, and you can read about all things Skillet here!), while Jon has posted a Momentous Mondays blog about them also. Yet as we’ve grown as fans of John, Korey, Jen, and Seth; we’ve seen a more active shift to more of an overt stance on kingdom and eternal issues. That’s such a welcome and inspiring thing that the band are doing- and for their latest album Dominion (reviewed here!), Skillet remind us about eternal issues and about Jesus in almost every song, while still having that special Skillet sound that has made us all love their music for years and years and years. For me personally, I found Rise and Victorious to be most enjoyable from the band’s discography of late- with a few songs from Unleashed inspiring me also. Dominion is on par, but the band is back this year with 5 brand new songs, and repackaging their album as Dominion: Day Of Destiny. So how does this newly released expanded edition of the album (why release the project more than a year after the standard version of the album?) rank amongst the many albums Skillet has released since the 90’s?

If you want to read about Skillet’s album from last year, read my review. I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to write about these new 5 songs, so read on when you are willing and ready. Ok, do you have thoughts about Dominion the standard version? These next five songs are typical Skillet– they’re good, but I still don’t get why these weren’t released last year? Or why they weren’t packaged as an EP, or saved for the next Skillet album? Regardless, John and co. have recorded 5 brand new songs that are edifying and well worth many listens, and Skillet should be proud of this effort. “Crossfire”, a high octane, passionate and energetic rocker, speaks about how you can rely on Jesus, your friends, and your family, whenever you are caught in a crossfire, and whenever you are needing help and reassurance and encouragement; while the lyrically heavy rocker “Psycho In My Head” has John delving deep into the feelings of mental and emotional anguish and heartache- basically singing about the devil’s lies that he speaks to us in his head. A song that opens our eyes more to the sense that there is spiritual warfare in this world; “Psycho In My Head” hopefully encourages us to ask for help when we need to and to never be afraid to be honest and vulnerable with those around us about our struggles and our issues we are dealing with. “Finish Line”, an anthemic, Gladiator-esque track, speaks about rising up above adversity and running the race God has for us, and never looking to the left or the right but rather focusing on the finish line; while Skillet further encourages us with “Unbreakable Soul”, outlining that we as humans have Jesus in our lives, and hence our soul is unbreakable and our spirit can’t be crushed by the state of the world we live in. Jesus is who we fix our eyes on, and so our view should be eternity and not what is happening on this earth. Dominion: Day Of Destiny ends with powerful and no-holds-barred “The Defiant”, where John and co. declare that they will stand up for what they believe, even if it costs them their lives.

For many of you who have read this glowing and positive review (of both this expanded edition and of the standard edition of Skillet’s new album), you might say that I’m letting my love for Skillet cloud my judgement- that I should hate on the band now that John Cooper’s podcast Cooper Stuff is becoming more and more political and he seems to be promoting a brand of Christianity (Christian nationalism?) that is further and further to the right. And… in one sense, you might be right. Within 5-10 years we may no longer separate the art from the artist, that politics and other issues might be so overt in songs, that we could end up inconceivably stop listening to our favourite artists altogether. However, that time for Skillet isn’t now. For as much as I watched Cooper Stuff and found myself becoming less and less of a fan of the podcast- my love for Skillet has never wavered. Their music still holds up today, and it is for everyone, regardless if you agree with John’s politics or not.

With Skillet having delivered in every way throughout their career thus far, inclusive of the most recent Victorious, as well as covering a smorgasbord of relatable topics and issues; their stardom is only on the rise. And thus, let us all bask in the knowledge and the assertion that these guys are the real deal, and these guys are on a mission to make Jesus famous through their music! With Dominion (both versions) being a fun-filled and introspective musical experience that personally gets more lyrically and thematically deeper with each and every time I listen; there’s probably not much more I could say to you to convince you to pick up a copy of this latest project. So, what are you waiting for? I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

5 songs to listen to: Valley of Death, Refuge, Forever or the End, Finish Line, Unbreakable Soul

Score: 4.5/5

RIYL: Linkin Park, Evanescene, Switchfoot, RED, Thousand Foot Krutch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *