SKILLET – Rise

skillet album review

Everyone’s favorite Christian rock band is back and in a BIG way!  Skillet have become masters of their craft,  creating heavy,  uplifting and genuinely great rock music!  They have made their first concept record with their newest release titled “Rise”.  Rise is the story of an American teenager transitioning from adolescence to adult hood coming to the realization that the world is a very dark and violent place.  We follow this character on his road to salvation and realization that he has to believe in god every step of the way.  Starting our story is the title track, “Rise”.  This album kicks off in a BIG way with huge guitars from new lead guitar player Seth Morrison and soaring vocals from lead singer John Cooper and Drummer Jen Ledger.  This track takes a pretty big turn at the end with quite possibly the darkest thing I have ever heard in a skillet song,  we hear a mother crying out “There’s a guy here with a gun, kids get under the table!” to a father shouting to his child “I wish you had never been born!”.  Next is the album’s lead single “Sick Of It”.  I really enjoyed this song the first time I heard it but it never really made sense to me until I listened to it within the album and now I like it even better!  “Good To Be Alive” is next and I can say with confidence that this is one of the best songs Skillet has ever written.  The lyrics,  the piano,  the huge anthem of a chorus,  this song has it all!   Next is the latest single released from the album titled “Not Gonna Die”.  This has the signature Skillet sound everyone has come to know with a huge string section in the intro and verses along with Lead singer John Cooper and drummer Jen ledger playing off each other with Jen singing out “The last thing I heard was you whispering goodbye and then I heard you flat line!”.  The album’s story reaches its craziest moment in “Circus for A psycho”.  The character really starts feeling the weight of the world here and just how crazy it can be.  Leading off with a huge riff from Seth Morrison, this song is heavy from beginning to end and bound to have everyone fist pumping and head banging in a live setting!  Next the character decides to cut out the “American Noise”, all of the sounds and craziness around us and zone out to a better place.  This is a great ballad and one of the best songs, lyrically, that Skillet has ever written.  I think we can all find some common ground within the lyrics of this one because we all like to get away from the “American Noise” from time to time.  In “Madness In Me” our hero realizes that no matter what he does he cannot be perfect and that he can only fix himself, not the whole world.  This is a great song with a great riff and synth in the verses thanks to Rhythm guitar player/piano player Korey Cooper!  “Salvation” is next and I have got to say this is also one of the best songs Skillet has ever written!  Jen Ledger really takes the lead with  the vocals here and that is not a bad thing at ALL,  she has a fantastic voice and is at her VERY best here.  This is the first time she has really taken the lead and I hope they utilize her vocals more in the future!  “Fire and Fury” is next and I really enjoy this song.  I firmly believe Skillet is at their best when they utilize John and Jen together on vocals and this is a prime example of that!  Next up is the rocker ‘My Religion”, a mid tempo song with a great message.  Love the “Amazing Grace” call out in the song as well, works really well!  So again, another stand out song the band has written is “Hard to Find”.  They slow things down here a bit with a very uplifting song, “You are my light when faith is hard to find”.  Lastly we hit the album’s closing track, “What I Believe”.   This has got to be, personally, my favorite Skillet song ever.  This sounds like a mixture of “Awake And Alive”, “Comatose” and “Rebirthing” with its own little flavor as well.  I can’t get enough of this song and it’s such a perfect way to close the album.

So it looks like Skillet has another platinum record on their hands. This has all of the band’s best elements in one record. They are amazing songwriters with a great message to share and they do it in the best way possible. Go buy this album when it comes out on 06/25/2013 and check out Skillet on the Carnival Of Madness tour this fall with rock heavy weights Shinedown, Papa Roach, In This Moment and a great up and coming Christian band We As Human!     5/5   (by David Rader)


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skillet album review at Midwest Music Scene