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Skillet: Rise
4 out of 5
Reviewed by: Sieto Kooijker

 

SkilletRiseMost “panheads” have been waiting on a new Skillet album for at least 2 years already and probably have bought this new album as soon as it was released. Their last album “Awake” was released in 2009 and was certified platinum in 2012. Actually, it was the only active rock band to go platinum that year.

Skillet chose to continue their collaboration with producer Howard Benson for their new album “Rise”, which is actually sort of a concept album. The album was never meant to be a concept album, but the themes had so many similarities that it just seemed bigger than just an album. That was the moment they decided it should be a concept album.

The concept is sort of a coming-of-age story of teen trying to figure out its identity in a world full of violence and problems. It is basically their journey into finding salvation, although the songs are definitely strong enough to stand alone as well. You can still see the context of the concept within the lyrics.

Skillet has released an excellent album with “Rise”. The album is filled with powerful rock songs like “Rise”, “Sick Of It”, “Circus For A Psycho”. Surprisingly it is not the harder rock songs that leave the biggest impressions, but the ballads and the soft rock songs. For example the track “American Noise” (official video posted below) which is about hearing the voice of God, telling you who you are supposed to be, through all voices of society telling you who you should be.

Times will be bad, times will be good
Things I wish I hadn’t done and some I wish I would
Cutting through the American noise
You’ve got a voice and a song to sing (and a song to sing)
Drink deep in the morning
Drink deep in the morning
See what the day will bring

La da da da
Lift up your voice
Let love cut through the American noise

Another one is the song “Salvation”. The intro on the song is a passage from Isiah 53 read by John and Korey’s Daughter. That message seeps through in the lyrics of the song.

Keeping me alive
You are my salvation
Touch you, taste you, feel you here
Our love will never die
You are my salvation
Hold me, heal me, keep me near
My heart will burn for you

Does “Rise” have any weaknesses? Yeah, sure. “My Religion” to me is the least impressive song on the album and seems to be out of place on the album. It’s a slow southern rock song that is right between the ballads.

One last note before I close. “Rise” has some beautiful artwork for all you guys who still buy hard-copies. The booklet is actually a foldout poster of the teen on the front cover with angel wings kneeling with the lyrics printed on the back. The inside artwork of the deluxe digipak shows some graphics that depicts the struggles the teen is going through.

“Rise” might be the best Skillet album I have heard. It has all the ingredients I want to hear in an album. It is musically diverse. It has some powerful rock songs, it has some incredible ballads, but it is the theme and the powerful message that stands out the most to me.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Reviewed by: Sieto Kooijker

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Purchase: Skillet: Rise


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Skillet – American Noise (Official Video)

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