Coming off the very strong and very fabulous Awake, Skillet has returned with their latest rock record, Rise. Fans have been waiting for a couple of years to see what Skillet had in them for a follow up to one of their most popular (and fantastic) records. Well, we can all rejoice, because Skillet has delivered a record that is every bit as good as its predecessor.
Rise opens with the hard hitting, heavy sounding, title track, “Rise.” If you love a guitar driven, hard rock sound, “Rise” is going to put a smile on your face. The song is a great opener for the record and sets the listener up for the rest of what’s to come—hard hitting rock music with an edge. Keyboards blend with shredding guitar and some hard pounding drums to create a strong, forceful album opener. “Rise” is just a great track.
Pounding drums, wailing guitars, and a steady heavy beat isn’t all that makes “Sick Of It” a hard core rock song. It is also the lyrics and the message behind the song. Almost a modern day “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” “Sick Of It” could be an anthem for a whole new generation. The song screams sing along at a concert, with fists flying in the air. “Sick Of It” speaks to standing up for yourself and fighting for what you believe in. If you’re sick of…whatever…fight it and stand strong.
“Good To Be Alive” takes off on a similar message that “One Day Too Late” (from Awake) had, in the celebration of life and all that we have. A simple steady beat is the backdrop for lead singer John Cooper’s vocals, which are very strong on this song. And while the beat is simple, and the song is not overly complex, it is still quite amazing. “Good To Be Alive” was the first song that really grabbed me from this album and I found myself singing along almost immediately.
Skillet really hits a home run with “Not Gonna Die,” the best song on the album. This song has the perfect blend of guitar, vocals, anthem style rock, and overall fun. “Not Gonna Die” is a solid song that kicks off strong and immediate grabs the listener’s attention. It is also a song with deep meaning about fighting back and overcoming any challenges that life may throw. I always attach to songs like these because they are powerful in spirit, style, and substance. “Not Gonna Die” is no exception and I found myself hitting repeat several times.
And while the rest of the tracks on Rise are solid, it is these first four that pack the hardest punch. Admittedly, I spent much more time listening to these four tracks than I did to the rest of the album, but that’s not to say the rest of the album is weaker, because it’s not. It’s just that these first four songs brought so much enjoyment, that I could not help but constantly hit replay after “Not Gonna Die.”
Skillet has once again delivered a fantastic record that hard rock fans will be sure to enjoy. Packed with an edgier modern rock sound and guitar solos galore, Rise is sure to please fans of both the modern rock genre and the old school rock style.
Rating: Out of 10
- Sick Of It
- Good To Be Alive
- Not Gonna Die
- Circus For A Psycho
- American Noise
- Madness In Me
- Fire And Fury
- My Religion
- Hard To Find
- What I Believe
John Cooper – Bass, Lead Vocals
Korey Cooper – Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards
Jen Ledger – Drums, Vocals
Seth Morrison – Lead Guitar
Reviewed by Ryo Vie