Rise is the ninth studio album release from American Christian rock band Skillet. It is unlike previous releases in that it’s the band’s first attempt at a concept album, telling a story of overcoming daily struggles and fighting to be significant in the world.
The album opens up with “Rise,” a track that focuses on standing up for what you believe in. Lead singer John Cooper’s vocals are rough and stand out against the driving beat of the song. Next is “Sick Of It,” the first single released from the album. The instrumentals are highly spirited and layered with electronic effects while the lyrics emphasize taking a stand and facing your problems. Rise swiftly transitions into rock ballad “Good To Be Alive.” This track shows a softer, more exposed side to Skillet with lyrics that touch upon second chances and love. The outro, however, is juxtaposed with a much darker sound that seamlessly transitions into “Not Gonna Die,” which is easily one of the most memorable tracks on the album. It begins with acerbic violins, biting riffs and embodies the idea of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Rise is an album filled with emotion and energy with the exception of “Salvation,” which is uncharacteristically slow and rather forgettable. Korey Cooper’s vocals neither add nor detract from the band’s sound and could easily be replaced. Aside from that, though, Skillet have taken some chances, which seems to have paid off. “Fire And Fury” is different from any other track on the album; it’s delicate and ferocious all at once, with intense lyrics about desire and an evocative tempo. Finally, “What I Believe” wraps things up with a power ballad showcasing vivacious violins and encouraging lyrics that complement the theme of belief first encountered in the title-track.