When we last saw Skillet, the band had been rocking the world with the 2009 record Awake and its following tours. The album was a staggering success. It debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, and has since been certified a platinum record, selling over a million copies. What’s more, each music video for Awake has over 15 million Youtube hits. Despite these accomplishments, Skillet didn’t go without negative criticism during this time. The majority of the backlash stemmed from Christians, the band’s original fan base. “Monster”, the second single from the album, generated a considerable amount of repulse from this market, although the song was a massive hit elsewhere.
Two years would pass as Skillet worked a relentless touring schedule. Then in 2011, singer John Cooper whetted his fans’ appetites by informing them, via Twitter, that new music was on the way. Now, another two years later, Skillet is finally moving forward with the long-awaited record Rise. The promising lead single, “Sick Of It”, has already begun to turn heads:
“Sick Of It” follows the band’s trademark gritty, grunge-rock edge melodies. While the new single and Awake’s “Monster” are musically similar, “Sick Of It” makes a far bolder declaration, one that is directly paralleled in the Bible:
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
Raising of hands is a universally-recognized sign of surrender. The song captures the theme of the subject trying desperately to lighten the weight on his shoulders, only to fail over and over. When a person finally grasps that a problem is too great to bear, Jesus’ arms are wide open, ready to take the load.
“If you’re sick of it, raise your hands. Get rid of it, while there’s a fighting chance”
In addition to “Sick Of It”, title track “Rise” and “American Noise” were also made available to introduce listeners to the promising album, which vows to continue what Skillet began in a whole new perspective, yet never letting go of the God that took them to fame. Rise was officially released today, June 25, 2013.