Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

XS ROCK

Christian Rock & Metal

Why Skillet Is/Was An Emo Band

When we think of emo music, we often think of dark clothing and bright colorful hair, gloves with holes for fingers, and emotionally, at times angsty music. Bands like the ridiculously talented My Chemical Romance are among the first to pop up in our heads when we think of this, even if the band does not identify with the genre.

Often stereotyped with depressive tones and lyrics, you wouldn’t normally expect a Christian band to fit into this genre. Yet it happened and stayed that way for years. For a time Skillet had albums that could be put up against the greatest emo releases of all time and consistently delivered bangers, as well as hits.

Alien youth is emo just because of John Cooper’s hair at the time. Kidding. Though it doesn’t hurt. It addresses the youth at the time (clearly) with a gospel message and has some sci-fi vibes in it. As with all Skillet albums, it has gospel themes and messages, though not as obvious as their previous album Ardent Worship. Vapor is a Christian emo song. Best to hear it to see for yourself. Eating Me Away and Kill Me, Heal Me are unabashedly emo. They wouldn’t be as on the nose with their Christianity after this album, though some would argue Dominion changed that. While they never hid their faith, after this they mastered passing the gospel in a relatable way to secular audiences without beating them over the head with religion. They made their message more relatable this way and drew in more people to tell about Jesus when they performed live. All throughout are songs with emotion and hope. Aggression and anger also fly on tracks such as Rippin’ Me Off. It’s pretty underground, but fun, and does fit under the emo tone, with a Jesus message.

Collide was the last Skillet album before they signed with Atlantic Records. The album was inspired by Struggles frontman John Cooper faced earlier in his life. It particularly focused on his pain and fairs fighting his faith. Forsaken is the opening track and instantly strikes a chord with those that were abandoned. It can be seen as a falling-out song, a betrayed song in general, and a breakup song. It’s full of emotion and aggression throughout. Savior is next, and while it’s clearly about Jesus, it can still be great for secular audiences as it doesn’t beat you over the head with it. Next up is the title track. It’s a masterpiece of metal, grunge, nu-metal, and hard rock with classical instruments taking center stage at parts of the single. Other “emo” songs include Imperfection, a song that brought many to tears with a relatable image for anyone who can’t see past their own flaws. Finally, there is the bonus track of open wounds, dealing with abuse, and living with your enemy. It’s a powerful album that deserves to be considered an all-time great emo release, as nothing is missing from it. 

Next up is the Platinum album Comatose. Rebirthing has some elements and themes many fans of Paramore would enjoy. Yes, it’s about God, but it can be seen by nonbelievers as a starting over track. Following the uplifting Gold-certified release is The Last Night. This song gets to the point, addressing depression and suicide outright, as well as wrist cutting, which is all unfortunate emo stereotypes. As normal for Skillet, it makes the pain relatable and reminds listeners they are never alone, with an inspiring message. Whether you believe it or not, the song is either a message from God or the band. Yours To Hold is not a heavy song, but it’s another hopeful tune where the band reaches out to people in pain, wanting them to come closer as they are “just out of reach”. No need to talk about what Better Than Drugs is about. You can guess what a Christian band would sing about the matter. Yet it’s catchy. The title track comes next and addresses the singer’s pain and unwillingness to go on without someone. How they need someone to be with them and take the pain away. After that are two slower ones in The Older I Get and Those Nights. Both are quite a bit softer but reflect on the past, and growing up. Both deal with pain and regret in moving on from a relationship. Falling Inside The Black is emo just by the title alone and again addresses depression. Say Goodbye once again addresses a lost emotional relationship. Whispers In The Dark has similar tones to The Last Night. Once again it is God, or the band addressing the listener’s pain and expressing a desire to help while assuring them they are not alone. Looking For Angels ends the disc while looking at the pain and dark side of the world from drug abuse to hunger to suicide. Yet it has a hopeful tone throughout. Overall the album went Platinum and sold over 3 million singles in the United States! I personally consider it my favorite emo album, edging out Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. The Grammy nomination for it doesn’t hurt either. 

Awake is easily their best-selling record. It is listed as Triple-Platinum by the RIAA. The singles have sold an additional 10 million units in America. “Monster” was also used by WWE and helped propel the band to superstardom. On Pandora, YouTube, and Spotify, as well as audio streaming the song has been heard several billion times around the world. Hero has been heard over 1 billion times as well, according to an article from 2019. While many see Awake as a more mainstream album, it was still Emo and at the time of the album’s release, they were still relatively unknown to the music world. Hero is about needing a hero to step in and save the day. Many emo songs address that. Next is Monster, a single about not being able to control yourself, and your emotions, and having something volatile inside of you. That fits the bill. The song was my introduction to them, and their biggest hit, hitting 5x Platinum status in the states, with certifications in several other nations. Awake and Alive got me into symphonic metal and is an inspirational ballad of headbanging about standing for what you believe in. One Day too Late encourages you to change for the better today, not tomorrow as you never know when it’s your last day. A nice reminder that the clock is always ticking on when to get right with God. It’s Not Me It’s You is a perfect breakup song for atheists and a perfect middle finger to the devil for Christians. Brilliantly written and heavy, it’s my favorite emo song about a split relationship. Should’ve When You Could’ve is a close second though. It’s way more lighthearted and clean but catchy. Believe addresses saying something awful to someone you love and driving them away, it’s a message to the victim saying they aren’t like that and didn’t mean it. Kind of a get-back-together song. Forgiven is pretty self-explanatory. Sometimes addresses the flaws in us all, and sometimes we know better than to do what we do, but striking out can be so freeing. It can feel so good at the moment. That’s the focus here. Never Surrender is another deep emotional ballad that zones in on depression. Lucy is a bit more emotional and focuses on looking at regrets. Reflecting on mistakes that caused permanent harm or even death and moving on. Bonus tracks are Dead Inside and Would It Matter? I won’t spoil the messages here. 

Rise came out after they had become famous. Jen had dyed her hair red and the band dressed emo. Many would consider this a concept album. It was different in terms of how the first few songs connected as if telling a story. Once again. It had themes of hopelessness, hope, depression, fear, rebellion, pain, anger, and standing for your beliefs. While the message was very similar, it sounded different. It’s a criminally underrated release you need to hear for yourself. It takes what made previous Skillet albums great and changes it up a bit. This Gold album had a Gold single and is what I consider to be their final emo album. They have continued to experiment with rock, metal, and pop, with similar messages, but Rise is still their last emo masterpiece. 

Article by John ward

You May Also Like

Featured Articles

During the 80’s hard rock ruled the airwaves. Quiet Riot’s Metal Health became the first #1 metal album of all time. Soon after the...

Featured Articles

For every Motley Crue, Def Leppard, and Van Halen, There were many other bands that were really good, but somehow didn’t quite make it...

80s Heavy Metal

The 1980s hard rock and metal scene is widely known as a generation of excess and a lot of over-the-top imagery. In fact, most...

Christian Rock & Metal

01. Stryper-Stryper has to be at the top of this list. Not because I think they’re the best, but because their contribution to Christian...

Hard Rock & Metal

Formed in 1982 by Tom Keifer and Eric Brittingham, Cinderella was one of the biggest bands of the ’80s rock and metal era.  Following several...

Hard Rock & Metal

Recently, I received an advanced release for Josh Todd & The Conflict’s debut album, “Year Of The Tiger”. Most of you probably know Josh...

Hard Rock & Metal

Britny Fox was formed in 1985 with “Dizzy” Dean Davidson on vocals, former Cinderella drummer Tony Destra, former Cinderella guitarist Michael Kelly Smith and...

80s Heavy Metal

The 1980s and early 90s saw hard rock and heavy metal go mainstream and reach a large audience worldwide. The genre was split into...

80s Heavy Metal

The 1980s were an awesome time thanks to the glam/hair metal scene. The image almost became as important as the music during this period,...

80s Heavy Metal News

Doro Gets Animated In New Video For "Lean Mean Rock Machine"

80s Heavy Metal

Legendary heavy metal icon and former Warlock singer DORO is back with a thunderous new single, ´Lean Mean Rock Machine,´ which comes accompanied by an electrifying animated video...

Listen To New Riot (V) Song "High Noon" Listen To New Riot (V) Song "High Noon"

80s Heavy Metal

The wait is almost over! Cult US heavy metallers RIOT (V) will finally unleash their much-anticipated studio album “Mean Streets” upon the world in...

Exodus To Release Live Album From 1989 "British Disaster: The Battle Of '89 (Live At The Astoria) Exodus To Release Live Album From 1989 "British Disaster: The Battle Of '89 (Live At The Astoria)

80s Heavy Metal

Thrash metal masters, EXODUS return with more than exciting news! Listen To the first single released below:  The band announces today their live album British...

Watch New Video By Anvil For "Feed Your Fantasy" From Upcoming New Album Watch New Video By Anvil For "Feed Your Fantasy" From Upcoming New Album

80s Heavy Metal

Canadian metal legends ANVIL have announced their new studio album, ‘One And Only’, for a release on June 28, 2024 via powerhouse label AFM Records! A first video single, “Feed Your...

Ratt Rarities Album Being Released By Deadline Music On May 31st Ratt Rarities Album Being Released By Deadline Music On May 31st

80s Heavy Metal

From the ’80s metal vault comes this collection of vintage demos and live recordings of one of the scene’s biggest hitmakers, RATT! Features the...

Babylon A.D. Returns With New Album "Rome Wasn't Built In A Day" Babylon A.D. Returns With New Album "Rome Wasn't Built In A Day"

80s Heavy Metal

Babylon A.D. announce their brand new studio album “Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day” to be released May 17th on Perris Records. It’s been...

Hard Rock & Metal News

Scarefield-A Quiet Country Album Review

Hard Rock & Metal

The 80’s were one of the best times for both great horror movies and heavy metal music. Now, years later, along comes the band...

Watch First Video "Residue" From Slayer Guitarist Kerry King's New Album Watch First Video "Residue" From Slayer Guitarist Kerry King's New Album

Hard Rock & Metal

With his solo debut album, From Hell I Rise, set for a May 17 release (Reigning Phoenix Music), today Kerry King unveils “Residue,” the...

Hard Rock & Metal

Buckcherry‘s debut album turns 25 TODAY and the band is celebrating all month long!  Beginning April 6, frontman and founding member Josh Todd will take us down...

Metal Church Guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof Releases New Side-Project Album Hall Aflame Metal Church Guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof Releases New Side-Project Album Hall Aflame

80s Heavy Metal

Hall Aflame, the rock band which features Metal Church founding guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof, will release their long-awaited sophomore album “Amplifire” on May 3, 2024...

Firehouse Singer CJ Snare Dead At 64 Firehouse Singer CJ Snare Dead At 64

80s Heavy Metal

Firehouse has released the following information regarding singer CJ Snare’s untimely death: Today is a sad day for Rock N Roll. It is with...

Watch Brand New Bon Jovi Video For "Legendary" Watch Brand New Bon Jovi Video For "Legendary"

80s Heavy Metal

BON JOVI, Grammy Award@-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, and oneof history’s most iconic acts, continue their 40th-anniversary celebration, withthe release of...

XS ROCK Featured Articles

The Top 20 Hard Rock And Metal Albums Of 2023

Featured Articles

2023 had some really good hard rock and metal albums released if you know where to look and listen. The hard rock and metal...

45 Christian Heavy Metal Bands From The 80s And 90s That You Should Hear 45 Christian Heavy Metal Bands From The 80s And 90s That You Should Hear

80s Heavy Metal

Angelica Attempting to hit on the sound of guitar slingers like Van Halen and George Lynch, Angelica went for a more glam-sounding singer, similar...

20 Albums Released In 2023 That 80s Metal Fans Should Hear 20 Albums Released In 2023 That 80s Metal Fans Should Hear

80s Heavy Metal

Each year, it seems that the remaining 80s hard rock and metal bands that are still putting out new music seem to get smaller...

Check Out These 80s Metal And Hard Rock Stars' Real Names Check Out These 80s Metal And Hard Rock Stars' Real Names

80s Heavy Metal

Check out these 80’s Hard Rock And Metal Stars’ Real Names! Some of these names are well known to fans, while others might find...

Who Were The Top 15 Most-Glam Mainstream Metal Bands Of The 80s? Who Were The Top 15 Most-Glam Mainstream Metal Bands Of The 80s?

80s Heavy Metal

The 80s were the decade of excess and musically that was absolutely true as well. The hard rock and heavy metal musical landscape exploded...

Who Were The Best Straight Up, No Frills Hard Rock And Metal Bands Of The 80s? Who Were The Best Straight Up, No Frills Hard Rock And Metal Bands Of The 80s?

80s Heavy Metal

The 1980s hard rock and metal scene is widely known as a generation of excess and a lot of over-the-top imagery. In fact, most...

80s Rock & Pop

Listen To INXS' Michael Hutchence's Previously Unreleased Song "One Way"

80s Rock & Pop

In the great pantheon of musicians transcending above mere “celebrity” status, the late MICHAEL HUTCHENCE towers over most. A consummate “rock star” if there...

'80s POP HITMAKERS WANG CHUNG, MEN WITHOUT HATS, THE MOTELS, AND NAKED EYES ANNOUNCE THE “ABDUCTED BY THE '80s” TOUR '80s POP HITMAKERS WANG CHUNG, MEN WITHOUT HATS, THE MOTELS, AND NAKED EYES ANNOUNCE THE “ABDUCTED BY THE '80s” TOUR

80s Rock & Pop

The 1980s were a unique, fun-filled era of music shaped in no small part by the emergence of MTV and the genre of New...

Watch Kevin Bacon Perform The Song "Losing The Night" With His Band The Bacon Brothers Watch Kevin Bacon Perform The Song "Losing The Night" With His Band The Bacon Brothers

80s Rock & Pop

The Bacon Brothers, featuring Michael and Kevin Bacon, are excited to announce the release of their new video, “Losing The Night”, from their forthcoming...

80s Music Video Of The Day

Take a trip down memory lane with this list of one-hit wonders on the U.S. charts from the years 1980 and 1981. How many...

Legendary 80s Pop Icon Adam Ant Announces 2024 American Tour Legendary 80s Pop Icon Adam Ant Announces 2024 American Tour

80s Rock & Pop

Adam Ant is pleased to announce his ANTMUSIC 2024 U.S. tour, which commences March 21st in St. Louis, MO. The English Beat will be supporting...

Foreigner And Styx Announce Renegades And Jukebox Heroes Tour With John Waite Foreigner And Styx Announce Renegades And Jukebox Heroes Tour With John Waite

80s Rock & Pop

Foreigner has announced the following: This summer we’re hitting the road with Styx! “We always look forward to being with our buddies in Styx,”...

Alternative-Punk-Electronic

Watch "Mercy" Video From Suicide Vocalist Alan Vega's Unreleased Album "Insurrection"

Alternative / Punk

Brooklyn-born master of minimalism Alan Vega is today announcing a previously unreleased new album, “Insurrection,“ and sharing the video for the lead single “Mercy.“ The video, directed by founding member of Jesus...

Alternative / Punk

Classic U.K. punk band Vice Squad has just released a newly remixed version of the song “Spitfire” along with a new video for the...

Bon Harris Says Nitzer Ebb Have No Plans For A New Studio Album Anytime In The Near Future Bon Harris Says Nitzer Ebb Have No Plans For A New Studio Album Anytime In The Near Future

Alternative / Punk

Electro-industrial legends Nitzer Ebb have released the following message regarding Douglas McCarthy’s health issues and the band’s future:

Face To Face, Save Ferris, Unwritten Law, Zebrahead & More Face To Face, Save Ferris, Unwritten Law, Zebrahead & More

Alternative / Punk

Brew Ha Ha Productions has announced the initial music lineup for the first-ever BRIGHTSIDE Music Festival, presented by WJRR-FM, on Saturday, April 27 at Central Florida Fairgrounds in Orlando, Florida.  Summer comes...

Front 242 Singer Hospitalized Front 242 Singer Hospitalized

Alternative / Punk

After an incredible 40-plus-year run on the road, Belgian EBM act Front 242 are setting an end to their live concert career, announcing their...

Alternative / Punk

Toxic misogyny, violence against women, and incels are the latest target Al Jourgensen takes aim at in the song “B.D.E.” (aka “Big Dick Energy”)...

Rock News

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT

Rock

Today, legendary rockers BLUE ÖYSTER CULT share a fresh single to celebrate the release of their new album, ‘Ghost Stories,’ out now on Frontiers...

Watch New Black Crowes Video For "Wanting And Waiting" Watch New Black Crowes Video For "Wanting And Waiting"

Hard Rock & Metal

The legendary Black Crowes have just released their latest single and music video for the song “Wanting And Waiting”. The song is from their...

Molly Hatchet Live Photos From Thunder By The Bay Festival, Sarasota, FL Molly Hatchet Live Photos From Thunder By The Bay Festival, Sarasota, FL

Hard Rock & Metal

Legendary Southern Hard Rockers Molly Hatchet played all their greatest hits to a large, enthusiastic crowd that was on their feet throughout the entire...

Hard Rock & Metal

The 26th Annual Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival is a three-day event held Feb. 16-18, 2024 at the Sarasota Fairgrounds that...

Watch AC/DC's First Live Appearance Since 2016 At The Power Trip Festival Watch AC/DC's First Live Appearance Since 2016 At The Power Trip Festival

80s Heavy Metal

You can watch the full live performance of AC/DC from their Power Trip show courtesy of the Riff Raff YouTube channel. The band ripped...

DEF LEPPARD AND JOURNEY ANNOUNCE SUMMER STADIUM TOUR 2024 WITH STEVE MILLER BAND, HEART, AND CHEAP TRICK DEF LEPPARD AND JOURNEY ANNOUNCE SUMMER STADIUM TOUR 2024 WITH STEVE MILLER BAND, HEART, AND CHEAP TRICK

80s Heavy Metal

Def Leppard and Journey are teaming up for the Summer Stadium Tour 2024 with Steve Miller Band, Heart, and Cheap Trick! The Rock &...

Rock Stars…Where Are They Now?

Where Are They Now?

W.A.S.P. was originally known for outrageous antics such as throwing raw meat into the audience and appearing to torture people on a horror-themed stage....

Winger...Where Are They Now? Winger...Where Are They Now?

Hard Rock & Metal

Winger released their debut album “Winger in 1988 and it scored the band its first platinum-selling album. Winger released its second album In the...

Britny Fox...Where Are They Now? Britny Fox...Where Are They Now?

Hard Rock & Metal

Britny Fox was formed in 1985 with “Dizzy” Dean Davidson on vocals, former Cinderella drummer Tony Destra, former Cinderella guitarist Michael Kelly Smith and...

badlands badlands

Hard Rock & Metal

After guitarist Jake E. Lee was fired from Ozzy Osbourne’s solo band, Badlands was formed when Lee recruited bassist Greg Chaisson, former Black Sabbath...

Hurricane...Where Are They Now? Hurricane...Where Are They Now?

Hard Rock & Metal

Hurricane started out in 1983-84 with the original lineup of lead vocalist Kelly Hansen (vocals/rhythm guitar), Robert Sarzo (guitar), Tony Cavazo (bass), and Jay...

Black N' Blue...Where Are They Now? Black N' Blue...Where Are They Now?

Hard Rock & Metal

  Black ‘N Blue was formed in 1981 and released four successful and critically acclaimed albums through Geffen Records including their self-titled debut (1984),...