Rise

 

Skillet

 

Atlantic Records

 

Listener Appeal: Teens and College age

 

Genre: Religious Rock

 

I haven’t listened to much Skillet since their Comatose album came out. I really loved that album and its precursor Collide. Even now many years later since my musical tastes have changed, I occasionally go back and enjoy some old Skillet.

 

Rise, howver, is not an album I will go back to enjoy.

 

Probably the best thing that I can say about this album is that it is loud. It’s the kind of music that I could imagine a sports team running onto the field to. Heavy guitars with lots of distortion to pump up the crowd, but the content doesn’t matter past 30 seconds.

 

The whole CD is disjointed in its main message. In early songs like “Rise” and “Sick Of It,” the band seems to be calling for a revolution against the way the world has become. But it doesn’t feel sincere. It seems like they made songs about revolution because it’s what seems cool. Then later in the album they seem to try to be making singles for radio. Some more down-tempo tunes featuring more of the Christian message. I love when Christian bands don’t shy away from faith in their music, but songs like “My Religion” and “Hard To Find” seem to just be thrown together. It feels like the band thought “Well, we have to have some music about Christianity and some slower songs so we can get on the radio.” At one point, they break into the lyrics of “Amazing Grace,” but at that point I just cringed because it felt so forced and there was little focus on the lyrics or meaning. Disappointing, especially coming from artists as talented as the members of Skillet.

 

A few times during Rise I was taken by surprise, but not in a good way. There are several moments in Rise when the band almost seems to want to break into some weird teen pop music, or occasionally they tease at dubstep glitchy synth and dropped bass kind of sounds. Neither of those sounds are bad in their own element, but in this hard rock album, it just seems gimmicky and a calculated ploy to gain some more fans or radio play. I found myself questioning the authenticity of the band's musical artistry. Given my history as a fan, that just made me feel sad.

 

As for parental concerns, there’s nothing in this CD lyrically that seems questionable to me, but some parents may not want their children listening to this album because it is definitely hard and heavy rock music and there are a few times that there is some brief heavy metal screaming.

 

My take, though: Unless someone in your family is a diehard fan or a collector of Skillet albums, I'd recommend you pass this one up.

 

--TN

 

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