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Skillet Rise

(Vinyl LP)

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Skillet Rise on LP 

Unwilling to stand pat or rest on their laurels, Skillet - lead vocalist/bassist John Cooper, guitarist/keyboardist Korey Cooper (John’s wife), drummer/duet partner Jen Ledger and lead guitarist Seth Morrison, making his first appearance on record with the band - continued to explore new terrain on 2013's Rise, expertly produced by Howard Benson, who previously helmed the mega-successful Awake (2009). Eager for new challenges, Cooper threw himself into collaborative songwriting to a far greater degree than ever before, co-writing the uplifting title song and the lacerating first single “Sick of it” with Scott Stevens, founder/leader of the L.A.-based Exies, while teaming with Nashville songsmiths Tom Douglas and Zac Maloy on the timely and anthemic “American Noise,” which Cooper considers to be the strongest song Skillet has yet recorded. 

On “American Noise” and the joyous “Good to Be Alive,” the band explores new stylistic territory, bringing an element of heartland rock into their aggressive, theatrical approach. The band expanded their musical palette, integrating natural, acoustic instruments like accordion, mandolin, dulcimer, harp, tympani and bells to their trademark slashing electric guitars, strings, churning synths and pummeling drums. It isn’t just the songs themselves that make Rise so gripping, it’s also the song sequences - like the radical contrast between the almost unbearable tension of “Sick of It” suddenly giving way to the ecstatic release of “Good to Be Alive,” or the way the closing three-song progression of “My Religion,” “Hard to Find” and “What I Believe” builds to a thrilling musical, thematic and emotional crescendo. 

Clearly, these songs and the album as a whole are embedded with an impassioned overarching message. This message courses with a tidal pull through Skillet’s entire body of work, but on Rise, it’s artfully woven into a gripping coming-of-age narrative. This sprawling work stands as the band’s first concept album - though it wasn’t premeditated. “The narrative idea happened after we had 10 or 11 of the songs chosen,” Cooper reveals. “As we were recording them, we started to realize that there’s something going on here - this album is really telling a story. Realizing that, I knew we needed to make it as powerful as we could.” The result is a wildly ambitious work as heady as it is visceral.

“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,” Cooper continues. “It’s not about pleasing your friends, it’s not about doing what’s cool; it’s about being who you are and being comfortable with that. And lastly, in the grand scheme of it all is, if I can be somebody I am comfortable being, maybe I can even rise up and help change the world. Can one person make a difference? Can one person actually matter?” 

Skillet Rise Track Listing:

1.  Rise
2.  Sick Of It
3.  Good To Be Alive
4.  Not Gonna Die
5.  Circus For A Psycho
6.  American Noise
7.  Madness In Me
8.  Salvation
9.  Fire And Fury
10. My Religion
11. Hard To Find
12. What I Believe
   


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Related Articles
1. Rise
2. Sick Of It
3. Good To Be Alive
4. Not Gonna Die
5. Circus For A Psycho
6. American Noise
7. Madness In Me
8. Salvation
9. Fire And Fury
10. My Religion
11. Hard To Find
12. What I Believe




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