I’ll be straight with you, I haven’t been a huge Skillet fan since they release Alien Youth. I loved the band’s alternative/grunge self-titled debut. When the band went with a more electronic sound, I was with them. Hey You, I Love Your Soul and Invincible are great records! But when the band shifted into the hard rock arena… I jumped off the train. The band’s has released songs that I really like. But their albums as a whole haven’t worked for me.
Rise has similar traits to the previous 3 Skillet records. Arena hard rock at it’s core. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I actually like the anthemic rock and roll. From the time you hit play, Skillet is offering an call to arms. The title track kicks off the record and it’s sets the theme. It’s time to rise up, not give up, and make a difference. The 911 call and newscast that ends the track is eerie and an attention grabber. Then the album’s lead single Sick Of It hits you. A great rock and roll anthem. It’s what Skillet does best.
Songs like Not Gonna Die, Circus For A Psycho, and Madness In Me are the rock and roll gems. The songs are hard hitting, rock anthems that will get arenas pumped.
Where Skillet’s always lost me in the past are the ballads. They’ve had some solid ballads but it seems that each record gets weighed down. Good To Be Alive is pretty solid. More of a long drive in your car, summer time ballad than a true heart wrenching ballad. American Noise is more of what I’ve come to expect from Skillet. Piano driven verses with a big catchy hook.
After Madness In Me we get mostly ballads. Skillet breaks it up with My Religion. My Religion is an interesting, old school, swing type rock song. It’s completely different from anything I’ve ever heard Skillet do. It’s a fun/interesting song.
Rise has some of my favorite Skillet songs since Invincible and I love the big rock songs. But the ballads weigh down the back end of the album. Skillet fans will love Rise. I just wish Rise had a couple more arena rock anthems.