Although Christian hard rock existed before Skillet, the Memphis band became responsible for a major resequencing of the music’s DNA. Founded by singer and bassist John Cooper in 1996, Skillet helped to pull the genre forward thanks to a sound that, rather than leaning on older styles of rock, incorporates the burly riffs heard in post-grunge as well as the dark synthesizers, digital programming, and start-stop rhythms pioneered in nu-metal. The band racked up a string of hit albums, including the 2006 commercial breakout Comatose, becoming one of CCM’s more popular acts. Though in a good place, specializing in catchy and thoroughly modern hard rock, they were missing a piece. This changed in 2008 with the arrival of drummer and singer Jen Ledger, a then 17-year-old wunderkind from England. Fitting like a glove with Cooper’s urgent howls, Ledger’s throttling backbeats and laser-focused vocals enabled the band not to only ratchet up their heaviness but create far denser productions as well. A beastly example is “Monster,” a megadose injection of adrenaline, all angsty and relentless, that became a massive secular smash and workout anthem in 2009; ditto for 2017’s “The Resistance,” a high-decibel ripper from the Unleashed album that boasts some of the gnarliest fret-work to ever grace one of the band’s recordings. Innovative crossover hits like these serve as proof that Skillet, in addition to having remade Christian hard rock for the 21st century, possess that rare ability to deliver their music to the fist-pumping masses outside their faith.