Album Review: Rise by SKILLET

Attention, Skillet Army! The band invites you to RISE with them in celebration of their newly released epic album Rise. Howard Benson produced Skillet’s ninth album and they recorded it in October 2012 through January 2013 at West Valley Studios in Woodland Hills, California. This time, Skillet takes their music to a whole new level; Rise is filled with darker and heavier melodies, and the band’s drummer, Jen Ledger, features her vocals in most of the tracks. Rise is the band’s best album yet.

skillet2013The album begins with its title track and third single, hinting to the fans what to expect throughout the album. Definitely a great way to start the record. Powerful lyrics sung by Ledger and John Cooper accompany the dark tones. Towards the end of the track, mixed recordings from a panicked phone call to 911, news reporting, to a disappointed father yelling at his child, perfectly connecting all of this to the next song, the leading single, “Sick of It”. The quiet catchy beats start the song off, followed by explosive beats, courtesy of Ledger, especially towards the end, her pounding rapid drumbeats. Cooper’s wife and the band’s keyboardist/rhythm guitarist, Korey, complements the beats with an electronic pulsing melody. The lyrics to the song are very profound and influential. “Good To Be Alive” has a very light tune, gives the album a mini break from the dark melodies. It has a very uplifting vibe, then in the end, it returns to the dark tones, mixed operatic vocals as well John and Jen’s voices providing a teaser of the next track and the album’s recent single, “Not Gonna Die”. This track’s strong and catchy lyrics express the perseverance of surviving, giving a dramatic effect with the rapid, catchy violin strokes accompanied by Ledger’s pipes. Song number five, “Circus for a Psycho” begins with the band’s lead guitarist Seth Morrison’s crazy guitar riffs, demonstrating the continuance of their change in their sound. The chorus has a catchy tone that will haunt the back of your mind after you listen to it. Next, the album’s second single, “American Noise”, slows Rise down with beautifully written lyrics. Following is “Madness in Me”, filled with explosive electronic beats and guitar riffs. Towards the end, Ledger can be heard singing a teaser of the lyrics to the next song, her voice electronically remixed. In “Salvation”, Jen sings most of the song with the exception of John singing the chorus, her voice perfectly matching the tone. Again, this song is beautifully written including a great solo performed by Morrison. However, that is not the end of the featuring of Ledger’s vocals. She and Cooper perform “Fire and Fury”, a fantastic, passionate duet with a haunting melody. The mood changes with the fun, swanky track, “My Religion”, providing a Gospel-like sound. Midway through the song, a remastered version of “Amazing Grace” is sung by Cooper. The last two songs, “Hard to Find” and “What I Believe” both have deep lyrics, complemented with beautifully composed melodies. “What I Believe” was a great way to end the album, however it left the listeners with a need to hear more of the sweet, intoxicating beats provided by Skillet.

All in all, this record is it, this is their best one yet. The lyrics and melodies will haunt the back of the listeners’ mind, to the point where they could be humming it in their sleep. Rise is available for purchase at a store near you and available for digital download. Be sure to check Skillet’s Facebook and website for tour dates. They are part of the Carnival of Madness tour this summer. Will you RISE in the madness with the band?

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