Skillet - United States
Unwilling to stand pat or rest on their laurels, the band— 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 Skillet— continue to explore new terrain on Rise, expertly produced by Howard Benson, who previously helmed the mega-successful Awake. 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.
Arctic Sparkle w/ Black Sparkle Fade
22x18 bass drum
14x14 floor tom
16x16 floor tom
14x6.5 Reference Pure snare drum
14x6.5 Reference Brass snare drum
14x6.5 Sensitone Brass snare drum
BC1030 boom stand x4
BC930 boom stand x2
S1030 snare stand x2
H2000 hi hat stand
P3002 Demon Chain double pedal