Comatose Comes Alive [DVD] review by Skillet

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  • Released: Oct 21, 2008
  • Sound: 10
  • Content: 9
  • Production Quality: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (18 votes)
Skillet: Comatose Comes Alive [DVD]
2

Sound — 10
This Live CD/DVD records Skillet in Chattanooga, TN during their headling 2008 Comatose Tour with openers Thousand Foot Krutch and Decyfer Down. The audio CD alone is a must have for any Panhead, as there are several nuggets of old material improved by live strings (a tour violinist and celloist) that gives the Skillet experience a rawer sound. But the live DVD is the real attention grabber. Pyrotechnics and stage antics abound, John Cooper and company astound the sold-out crowd with their ability to bring their A-game even with one significant line-up change (18 year-old Jen Ledger taking over on drums) and the rest of the crew seasoning the sizzling stage chemistry after 8 years together. Considering the band itself is 12 years old (their 1996 self-titled debut was a Christian grunge effort), this band had a long climb to the top, but now that they're brining their unique sound to the mainstream to garner fans and change lives for Christ, the quality of their music has improved dramatically, and this DVD captures the Skillet live show experience. The sound quality is heavier than the recording, which is a welcome change for most Skillet fans. The concert innovates using live strings (violinist and celloist) to enhance previously lacking keyboard strings on songs like Forsaken and Collide.

Content — 9
This CD features 8 songs from their soon-to-be platinum certified CD Comatose, 4 from their 2004 breakthrough CD Collide, and 2 songs that are 8-year old material from Invincible. The imbalance of new versus old material, with 3 of their old CDs not included on this tour's setlist, is bound to twerk many fans but the songs chosen arguably make the best concert experience, so it is understandable. All the songs are easy-to-grasp anthems that get the crowd involved (except for the contemplative worship of Angels Fall Down) and demand serious headbanging, or air guitar during Kasica's sultry guitar solos (the addition of a solo on My Obsession being the best display of technical ability Ben Kasica's made to date). Their vast improvements on non-Comatose material are worth the price alone, but seeing classic rock anthems from Comaotse being illustrated live by front-man John Cooper is the real reason to run out and get this DVD. In addition to the concert, they included 4 of their music videos and their is a photo gallery of the show. I was disappointed the 'Looking For Angels" music video wasn't included, but most fans could live without and those who can't can buy the Comatose: Deluxe Edition.

Production Quality — 9
The camera tricks used on the DVD help enhance the experience, especially on the live intro. The camera also really gets the feel on "Forsaken", "Collide", and the breakdown on "My Obsession". The image quality is professionaly flawless and the camera man knows when to back off and let the show focus on John. While the CD has better audio quality, nothing's missing from the DVD's either.

Overall Impression — 9
This effort is long overdue, and fans have wanted a home experience of Skillet's excellent live show for years. Now that it's finally happened, fans should be happy with the product. It's flawlessly executing, and no efforts were spared throughout the Comatose tour. Some old fan-favorites were regretably omitted from the setlist (A Little More, You Are My Hope, Energy, etc.) but the absolute greats all appear here, and the DVD is perfect for popping in to anticipate your next Skillet show. Personally, I'd like to see a Fan Favorites DVD sometime in the future, but with a new record coming out this Spring by the hardest working band in Christian rock, Skillet is bound to satiate your palate for in-your-face rock & roll for years to come.

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Dugg513
    The first time i ever even heard skillet's music was at a live show and the were incredible and i've been hooked ever since. so yea i bet this was great and i'll probably get it soon ps they need to come out with a new album
    Decapped
    xcrunner1 wrote: I read this and laugh so hard Try to not choke on your laugh too hard, because Comatose is approaching Gold status and if they have their way, they'll be a household name soon.
    Skillet... a household name... hehehehe...
    mike_biro727
    first time i ever heard this band was at winterjam last year and they blew my mind!!! Im seeing them again in 3 days, cant wait!!!
    xcrunner1
    Unskathed wrote: I've seen them live four times. Way heavier and much more intense live. Amazing show.
    Yeah man can't wait 'til May 20th.
    Dallen_007
    Decapped wrote: xcrunner1 wrote: I read this and laugh so hard Try to not choke on your laugh too hard, because Comatose is approaching Gold status and if they have their way, they'll be a household name soon. Skillet... a household name... hehehehe...
    lawlz. Good DVD I thought.
    Unskathed
    I've seen them live four times. Way heavier and much more intense live. Amazing show.
    3 days grace14
    Dugg513 wrote: The first time i ever even heard skillet's music was at a live show and the were incredible and i've been hooked ever since. so yea i bet this was great and i'll probably get it soon ps they need to come out with a new album
    yeah man first I heard was live 2! Im not a christian but these guys know how to hold it down live anyone whos seen there show will agree!!!
    pyritmann
    joshjosh667 wrote: I used to like this band when my parents bought stuff for me... Now im into Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Iced Earth. Though i dont mind it these days
    Wow thats soo good of you to say that, thou of such METAL taste. *sarcasm* Skillets an awesome band. and they are incredible live
    xcrunner1
    neverspoiled wrote: Skillet is awesome. I love their older stuff...kinda sounds like a Christian Marilyn Manson. lol. I'm definitely gonna look into this...
    Just don't expect the industrial band of yore, Skillet's an ever-evolving band trying to rock harder with each CD.
    neverspoiled
    Skillet is awesome. I love their older stuff...kinda sounds like a Christian Marilyn Manson. lol. I'm definitely gonna look into this...
    xcrunner1
    Aziraphale wrote: I'd say they don't sound like any kind of Marilyn Manson in any shape or form, but they're a great band, one of my fav's even (and I'm agnostic). Too bad Corey sings pretty horribly on some songs, and John is using a lot of sing-back tracks (in the chorus for Rebirthing for example, he looks like he's about to pass out and squeeks something while the recorded vocals are blasting pitch-perfect through the PA). But his singing style is pretty damn intense, I know that from experience, so I can't blame him for it. Ben is steady as a rock as always, and Jen plays really well too.
    Still a very solid effort (I think) for the last leg of the tour, John will probably appreciate the rest before they head out for Comatose Tour 2009.
    xcrunner1
    Vedicardi wrote: "Comatose Comes Alive DVD/CD is the second live album and second live DVD by the Christian rock band Skillet, which peaked at #164 on the Billboard 200." I read this and laugh so hard
    Try to not choke on your laugh too hard, because Comatose is approaching Gold status and if they have their way, they'll be a household name soon.
    xcrunner1
    Dugg513 wrote: The first time i ever even heard skillet's music was at a live show and the were incredible and i've been hooked ever since. so yea i bet this was great and i'll probably get it soon ps they need to come out with a new album
    Don't worry, they just finished recording their upcoming CD for a summer release.
    joshjosh667
    I used to like this band when my parents bought stuff for me... Now im into Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Iced Earth. Though i dont mind it these days
    Vedicardi
    "Comatose Comes Alive DVD/CD is the second live album and second live DVD by the Christian rock band Skillet, which peaked at #164 on the Billboard 200." I read this and laugh so hard
    Aziraphale
    I'd say they don't sound like any kind of Marilyn Manson in any shape or form, but they're a great band, one of my fav's even (and I'm agnostic). Too bad Corey sings pretty horribly on some songs, and John is using a lot of sing-back tracks (in the chorus for Rebirthing for example, he looks like he's about to pass out and squeeks something while the recorded vocals are blasting pitch-perfect through the PA). But his singing style is pretty damn intense, I know that from experience, so I can't blame him for it. Ben is steady as a rock as always, and Jen plays really well too.
    jaybrink10101
    The only issues I had with this DVD was the afforementioned live backing tracks - I know John's enormous husky harmonies are instrumental for the band's sound, but come on, get Ben to sing them or something - it feels too much like cheating and especially in the parts where John steps away from the mic and the lead vocals carry on, it frustrates me a little. And yes, Korey is quite bad on a few of the songs. That said, this DVD is great - John Cooper has an amazing voice, they're much heavier live and the odd changes they make to their songs are generally kickass (Comatose intro and The Last Night outro). John's screams that he throws in rock, and it's just a really solid show. John's live performance scares me - he's so huge and imposing. Would love to see them live.