Rise

An Album By

Skillet

Review by

Listen now

Rise, Skillet’s eighth studio album, incorporates elements reminiscent of previous records – industrial sounds from Invincible and Alien Youth, melodically-driven rock from Collide – and is a good step above 2009’s popular Awake.

What sets Rise apart from the other releases in Skillet’s discography is that it is a concept album. Interludes between tracks help loosely weave the songs into a story about a teen transitioning into adulthood, coming to grips with his faith in the chaotic world he lives in. For example, immediately after the final chords fade out in the feel-good, heartland rock ballad “Good to Be Alive,” a girl sings, “Despair / You come to me with your poison and your misery / Oh, death! / You come to sting with your poison and your misery.” It’s a hauntingly beautiful transition to the synth-heavy, rock anthem “Not Gonna Die,” where lead singer John Cooper declares, “No! / Not gonna die tonight! / We’re gonna stand and fight forever!”

The story masterfully builds through the final five tracks, each track adding a layer of faith within the story so that by the final track, “What I Believe,” the protagonist can sing “You are what I believe / I’ll live and die for you / This is all that I need / When nothing is real / You are my truth!”

Notable songs include the chaotically aggressive “Circus for a Psycho,” which highlights the guitar prowess of Skillet’s newest member Seth Morrison. “My Religion” has a funky southern twang, and “Fire and Fury” is superbly canorous.

As a whole, Rise is a decent rock album that helps revive the band after the mediocre Awake, yet it’s still unable to rise above the impressively unique sound Skillet perfected during their classic years.

Features

Bert McCracken of The Used Photo by Aaron Berkshire

Let's Get to the Heart of Things

"Music is our everything; we live and die for it. It’s our way to be human, so making songs that make that deep human connection is really important for The Used." In a new age of releasing music in a socially-distanced world, Bert McCracken and The Used face the challenge of human connection when physical connection is taboo. HM contributing writer Andrew Voigt dives in with McCracken about The Used's new album, Heartwork, his absence on social media, and why 2020 will be the year of rice.

By

Photo by Aaron Berkshire

Full Feature
Ever Eden

The Haunting Sound of Hope

"Ever Eden has been this perfect culmination of us realizing what our journey has been and how to aim that as a message for other people." After years of introspection and coming-of-age, Ever Eden has embraced their own struggles, as haunting as it may feel, to create a community that's turned out to be much larger than the band itself.

By

Full Feature
Telle Smith of The Word Alive

An Artist's Obsession

Telle Smith, vocalist for The Word Alive, is coming off the release of the band's sixth studio album, MONOMANIA. That was in February. This is, well, now. Originally planned to tour for the new album and play for millions, he’s in his house in California... trading stocks. HM contributing writer Andrew Voigt catches up with the quarantined Smith.

By

Photo by Dusty Winter

Full Feature
All Features