Skillet are one of those hard rock bands which attract attention with their high energy approach. Having been plugging away since 1996, the band is now 8 studio albums deep into their career. Having changed their sound over the years finding a niche in 2003 with Collide. In 2006 Comatose was released. it was a success for the band with hits like “Whispers In The Dark”.
Then the year 2009 brought fans the band’s most popular release to date in Awake. The album received rave reviews and found the band with major hits in “Hero”, “Monster”, “Awake And Alive”. Awake was a stellar album from start to finish. It launched the band into hard rock stardom with heavy air play and places on a lot of major rock tours. Riding high on the success of Awake 4 years Skillet are ready to make a statement with their latest album Rise.
Rise is a highly anticipated album as the band reached mainstream success over the past 5 year span. Fans were eager to hear what Skillet had in store for them next. The wait is finally over and Rise is here! The album begins with the title track “Rise”. The track is high energy and showcases the signature Skillet sound of John Cooper on lead vocals with drummer Jen Ledger providing the emotional female backing vocals. With an addictive fist pumping chorus this track rocks hard. Ending in a intense fashion with spoken words really striking a chord in the heart of the listener. Leading us into the lead single of the album “Sick”. The track hits hard with crunching guitars, an anthem like chorus, and a good mix of synthesizers. Korey Cooper continues to provide the band with the rhythm back bone that fans have grown to love.
The theme of positivity continues with this song where Cooper belts out if you are sick of negativity in your life it’s time to let go of the baggage. “Not Gonna Die” is a energy drenched track lead by an intense violin and cello melody. Combining heavy guitars with emotional driven vocal delivery of Cooper we are treated to a beautiful guitar solo toward the end of the song. “Circus For A Psycho” is a unique track lead by a killer guitar riff reminiscent of a circus song. Ear catching and equally as catchy. The track displays some excellent guitar work really showing the skills of Seth Morrison. “American Noise” takes things down a notch with a beautiful piano and softer vocal approach by Cooper. Lyrically, the song follows the theme of cutting out negativity in your life. Conveying in the listener that you do have a voice even in a complex American culture and to let your voice be heard.
“Madness In Me” is yet another strong guitar driven track. With a throbbing bass line and melodic guitar accents the song will have your head bopping. “Salvation” is the first track on the album lead by Ledger on vocals. The track has the strongest over tone of faith of any on the album. With an emotional delivery by Ledger and Cooper on backing vocals complimented by piano and another excellent guitar solo. “Fire And Fury” continues the passionate story of faith with Cooper and Ledger harmonizing making for a beautiful track musically and lyrically. “My Religion” is a groovy little track which will have your toe tapping. The song lyrically states that you should not be driven to do things to impress others and you should keep your faith in what you believe. Our journey comes to an end with “What I Believe”. A solid signature Skillet style song with triumphant violin, cello, and vocal performance.
Rise is an album with a theme. It’s clear the band was going for a concept here. The journey begins with frustration, anger, and displacement. Much like a child trying to find their way in this crazy world we live in, the journey leads toward enlightenment. Providing the listener with a balanced approach of hard hitting songs from beginning to end. A wide range of emotion is provided and performances are top notch. Clearly driven by faith the band has found salvation in rock n roll. Rise picks up right where Awake left off. An enjoyable listen that Skillet fans are bound to enjoy. Cryptic Rock give this album 4 out of 5 stars.