'Rise' was just released this past Tuesday (6/25) and being that I haven't yet stopped listening to the album, (I haven't listened to an album like this, non-stop, probably since Metallica's 'Death Magnetic' back in 2008!) I figured that I may as well give a quick review of it...
John Cooper - Lead Vocals, Bass, and Acoustic Guitar
Korey Cooper (John's Wife) - Keyboards/Programming, Rhythm Guitar, Back-Up Vocals
Jen Ledger - Drums and Vocals
Seth Morrison - Lead Guitar
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
9. Fire and Fury
10. My Religion
11. Hard to Find
12. What I Believe
*Note, I highly recommend purchasing the "Deluxe Album"...
14. Everything Goes Black
*Not only do you get the 3 additional bonus tracks, it also comes with a Live DVD (of Skillet's 'Awake & Live' Tour - featuring some great songs from their 2006 album 'Comatose' and their 2009 album 'Alive', as well as a slew of "Behind the Scenes" and a Documentary of "the making of" 'Rise')
Before I continue, some of you may be unfamiliar with Skillet... (seriously?!?)
They are a Christian Hard Rock Band (before you let that detour you, I have secular friends, including atheists, who dig this band! Just watch the below video, if you still have any doubts) who have been around since 1996. 'Rise' is their 9th album.
Once you listen to Skillet, you will realize that lead singer, John Cooper, has a very distinct singing voice. On past albums, Cooper's wife handled back-up vocals, which she will still do occasionally, however, in 2008(?) Jen Ledger became Skillet's drummer (at the age of 18!) and now predominately handles the back-up vocals (She Rocks! Both her vocals and her drumming!) You should see her drumming & singing, all while being spun around 30+ feet in the air...!
*side-note, I love Korey's voice as well - picture her on guitar & keyboards (back-and-forth) as well as background vocals.
Skillet is indeed a multi-talented band!
I digress... 'Rise' is Skillet's 1st "Concept Album" telling the story of a teen coming into adulthood, in this crazy, mixed-up world of ours...
'Rise' is hands-down my favorite Skillet album (taking the place of their 2001 album 'Alien Youth')
My top 5 songs off of the album:
Sick of It (see the below video)
Fire & Fury (love this song! a perfect blending of Cooper & Ledger's voices)
also, off of the Bonus Tracks - I love Freakshow!
Once again, you don't have to accept them as a Christian Band (though that is who they are, and they will not shy away from that)
Just think of them as a Rockin' band with a positive message/lyrics...
Here is their Official Video for Sick of It:
(I love that stage!)