Ae you sick of it? The war? The poverty? The crap that life throws at you every day? The phoniness?
Many people are.
Sometimes their disgust for the status quo leads them to Christ because Jesus, the Messiah, changes people. He takes them from being cold, misguided, balls of hopelessness and transforms them into useful vessels of mercy.
Skillet’s new album, “Rise,” is that journey set to music. It features the highs and lows that people can face on the path to Christ.
Lead singer and bassist John Cooper said “Rise,” which is due for release on June 25, is the story of a typical American teen coming into adulthood and facing the massive world problems.
“So the story is basically about rising up out of your downtrodden life, rising up from that place where you feel like a failure, rising up to be comfortable being yourself, to stand up for what you believe in,” he said.
Though some have pegged the album as a rock opera, like the Who’s “Tommy,” it’s really just an intriguing thematic album because it doesn’t feature some of the classic marks of an operatic piece such as an overture.
On this album, Skillet expands its repertoire integrating instruments such as the accordion, mandolin, dulcimer, harp, tympani and bells to their sound, but the band still sounds like you remember them sounding earlier this century on 2003’s “Collide.” This is good because nobody does electro-synth-rock quite like Skillet does it.
The album starts off with “Rise,” and ends with “What I Believe.” Notable tracks on this album include “Sick of It,” “Good to Be Alive,” “Circus for Psycho,” My Religion” and “What I Believe.”
“Sick of It,” which is also the first single off of the album, has all the angst and anger you’d expect from someone tired of this life. “Good to Be Alive” is reflective, melancholy and Evanescence-like, while “Circus for a Psycho” features some amazing rock-guitar handiwork reminiscent of Angus Young on AC/DC’s 1990 hit “Thunderstruck” “My Religion” features a slowed-down rock tempo and cadence and actually has a ska kind of vibe. The breathy way John Cooper sings on this track is also evocative of Matt Morginsky of the O.C. Supertones. Finally, there is hope and redemption in “What I Believe.”
Skillet worked hard on “Rise.” It shows in the album’s energy and musicality. This album sounds modern and fresh. It will not only remain relevant for years to come, but it will also point those who feel disenfranchised and are trying to come to terms with the inequities that are part of life to Christ while helping them feel an appropriate catharsis.
1. “Rise” 4:22
2. “Sick of It” 3:11
3. “Good to Be Alive” 4:59
4. “Not Gonna Die” 3:45
5. “Circus for a Psycho” 4:31
6. “American Noise” 4:09
7. “Madness in Me” 4:17
8. “Salvation” 3:45
9. “Fire and Fury” 3:56
10. “My Religion” 4:12
11. “Hard to Find” 3:48
12. “What I Believe”