After a triumphant tour with Nickelback last year, Skillet realized that they perhaps had more fans in Europe than they thought. Cue a headlining tour taking in four UK dates and an exclusive Europe-only album release featuring the best songs – although not necessarily the greatest hits - from their three Atlantic Records albums. Ownership rights meant that earlier material recorded with Ardent didn’t make this album, which is a shame as that prevents the inclusion of songs from the excellent 2003 release “Collide”. This album is essentially for those who first heard Skillet when they opened for Nickelback in the UK and those who have started to get interested in the band through one or two songs. Hardcore fans will no doubt have all of Skillet’s material from the original releases, and as there are no bonus tracks on offer on “Vital Signs” there will be little of interest here for them.
If you are a newbie to Skillet this is a great starting point. There are three songs from latest album “Rise”, including “Not Gonna Die”, three from “Awake”, including the magnificent “Awake and Alive” and four from the Brian Howes produced Atlantic debut including John Cooper’s favorite song “Rebirthing”. All in all, an excellent dip-your-toe release for new fans before they inevitably go out and listen to the entire back catalogue starting with “Comatose.”