NASHVILLE, TN?.7/26/06?.Hot on the heels of 2003?s best-seller Collide, which launched SKILLET meteorically into the mainstream with the hit single ?Savior,? touring with Three Days Grace, Salvia, Shinedown, and 12 Stones, plus a prestigious nomination at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards, Atlantic/Lava and Ardent/SRE will unleash COMATOSE on October 3rd, 2006.
?We?ve been proud of where we?ve been in the past, but I feel like this is our strongest record,? notes vocalist/bassist John Cooper, citing the band?s recent completion of the COMATOSE sessions at Chicago Recording Company (Smashing Pumpkins, Michael Jackson, R. Kelly) with producer Brian Howes (from famed Canadian TVT band Closure and Hinder?s hit CD) and mix maestro?s Chris Lord-Alge (Green Day, Hoobastank, Bon Jovi, P.O.D.) and David Bottrill (Tool, Staind). ?There are so many different influences where it won?t just be about rock audiences or metal audiences. I think there?s something here for everybody and it?s our most mass appeal record.?
With COMATOSE it seems Skillet?s struck gold yet again, building off the refined musicianship found on Collide and taking it to even more jaw dropping extremes. The lead single ?Rebirthing,? the first single for both Mainstream and Active Rock (8.21) and Christian CHR and Rock radio (8.14) formats, is a complex but accessible amalgamation of piercing strings, jarring guitars, humongous power chords and neck snapping reactions calling all to come alive in Christ. In sharp contrast, but equally compelling are ?The Last Night,? ?Say Goodbye? and ?Yours to Hold,? all oozing with ethereal orchestration and insanely infectious sing-a-long potential.
While such selections are sure to storm the radio, COMATOSE has several examples of Skillet flexing its experimental muscles, adding several piano based and progressive periods. A careful dissection of ?Whispers? unveils nods to the current prog crop via the channels of Yes, while ?Better Than Drugs? (focusing on an eternal destiny rather than earthly gain) is a delightfully schizophrenic barnburner sure to tip the decibel scales in one of the disc?s most aggressive displays. ?The Last Night? takes a more delicate twist, pitting John?s vocals with his wife Korey Cooper as her keyboards glide with chilling cadence.
?It?s a new era for both Atlantic and Skillet,? exclaims Andy Karp, head of A&R for Atlantic Records. ?It?s the first record where we?ve really been one on one with the band and it?s the latest step in our unique journey together. I?ve been at the label seventeen years and we?re known for having so many great rock n? roll bands: Led Zeppelin, Genesis, Yes, Bad Company. There really aren?t a lot of labels that have that kind of pedigree for rock acts and Skillet is yet another in the long line of great bands.?
Aside from Skillet?s musical strides, Cooper?s songwriting has expanded to cover a vast range of topical territories, some of which follow spiritually and socially conscious thought processes, while others vulnerably mirror his personal life and struggles. ?The Last Night,? talks about someone considering suicide after living life in despair and not having support from their parents. Rather than calling it quits, a supportive friend reminds of God?s unconditional love and they?re eventually talked down from that ledge. Even closer to home for Cooper is ?The Older I Get,? which picks up after his mom passed away, tracing the rocky relationship he had with his dad and the eventual forgiveness they reached.
Naming the record COMATOSE further cements those expressions, hoping to rev up listeners to break beyond the mundane, get on track with their relationships (here on earth and with the Creator), while charging forward with hope.
?John has written the best songs he?s ever written and there?s been such an evolution on all levels for the band,? Karp continues. ?Sonically we set out to create a combination of electronic elements, orchestration and a melodic approach and Skillet?s managed to hit all of those three exactly on target, raising up its game to yet another level of excellence.?
But more than composing a disc with killer compositions, Cooper hopes this disc?sdeeper meaning of awakening will strike a chord on all levels with listeners. To the church specifically, it?s a reminder that life?s focus needs to be reaching out to others while stepping aside from denominational squabbles, self-absorption and even negative technological influences.
?COMATOSE as a concept is meant to challenge people to invest in the relationships around them,? Cooper sums up. ?In traveling around so much, especially in the last couple of years, we?re aware of people needing and hurting more than ever before. We want these songs to start the wheels in motion for believers and non-believers alike to change that cycle for the better.?