Confessions review by Pillar

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  • Released: Sep 22, 2009
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (19 votes)
Pillar: Confessions

Sound — 8
Pillar has been one of those rock bands that don't go away. They've provided a steady flow of albums that were always pretty good if not very good. The band still rocks out hard as Fire On The Inside or Shine (Collective Soul cover) can testify, but there is that thing called "maturity" present in the songwriting. The opening track will bring you back to older albums that many celebrate as their best, and that infectious hard rock vibe hasn't been lost. However, there is to my ears more quality in their attempts to be diverse. At times, their attempts at mellowing out from their more riff oriented material seemed too far from the core sound for me to get into. They seem to more smoothly transition from hard riffs to heavy ballad and even throw in some appropriate soft tunes. Maybe not everyone will like the newer sounds they are starting to incorporate into their style, but I encourage freshness and artistic freedom. One criticism is that I notice a bit of more than subtle Redesque riffing and Fireflight chord bashing on a couple songs. I don't think it's wrong for artists to play off of each other, but it's less than tasteful to cop each other's styles so strongly. It's almost like all the Christian hard rock is starting to clone each other. Other than that, I think the sound is pretty strong and a good effort. As far as instrumental quality, the guitar work of Noah is still impressive. He plays some nice riffs and even a couple good solos that show his constant improvement in his abilities. He even has improved his clean parts and come up with more intricate clean riffs. Rob manages to pull the vocals together and has stronger singing than the last album, although his screaming is less abundant to mostly likely save his voice. The new drummer and bassist provide a solid effort although the fast footwork and bombastic fills of Lester are missed. The band manages to put out another solid sounding album, though some may say it sounds too commercial.

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are typical lyrics for a Christian rock band. Dealing with issues in life from the from the standpoint of their faith and a call for Christians to get off their collective rears are main topics that the lyrics speak about. The lyrics also speak of faith and being sustained by something more than yourself. I think that these lyrics are positive and fit with the music. They aren't preachy, but they are honest. If you aren't a Christian than you can still find positive themes of endurance and hope in the hard times. As far as the singing skills, Rob seems to be keeping his voice in fairly good shape. He does seem to have a raspier and nasally edge sometimes, but his clean vocals remain fairly good for the most part. The screaming isn't quite as abundant, but he still whips it out from time to time and it has good strength to it.

Overall Impression — 9
Pillar manages to keep their sound intact, but I notice elements of Kutless, Red, and Fireflight in the music. This can be a good or bad thing. New ideas are a good thing, but they should try to balance everything out before they start sound like everyone else. I like all the songs on the album, but the opening track hits you hard in the gut and is a great start to the album. Their cover of Collective Soul will have you singing "Whoaa! Heaven let your let shine down!" at the top of your lungs and Noah will melt your face off with a decent solo later in the song. I only have a slight criticism of the sound being too comparable to other Christian rock, but that's my only complaint. I pre ordered this at Camp Electric, so if anything happened to it I would be sad as it just came out today. Although, I would get over it because I have it imported onto my computer now. Overall, it's decent new album from Pillar. Note that nothing is perfect, so none of my ratings will be.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    It's almost like all the Christian hard rock is starting to clone each other.
    This is my biggest problem with the Christian music scene. Always copying, never innovating.
    CptRevell wrote: It's almost like all the Christian hard rock is starting to clone each other. This is my biggest problem with the Christian music scene. Always copying, never innovating.
    That always seems like a cop-out to me. How is this different than mainstream music? Sounds like just a generic comment about bands that you don't know much about. Also, how can you sound like another band if you came out before them and influenced their sound?
    I think the same thing of the secular scene as well, interestingly. The first Pillar CD I had was Fireproof, and it basically reminded me of the secular rap/meta/rock thing at the time.
    I hear ya...there's always a few bands that are influenced by current trends. Have you heard Project 86's last 2 cds? They've changed a lot over the years...and I can't think of anything other band that sounds like them. Skillet, Disciple, The Showdown?? While they may fall into the hard rock/metal genre, I don't think they are mainstream knock-offs. As a matter of fact, I'd put some Christian bands ahead of their mainstream counter parts, musicianship and talent wise.
    i grew up with noah. he used to go to my church in NC. i dont like the band, but he is a cool guy. there is definitely better music to listen to in my free time.
    if you hear elements that sound like other bands its beceause Pillar branched out and brought in others to collaborate on this album, namely the guitarist from Red.
    CptRevell wrote: It's almost like all the Christian hard rock is starting to clone each other. This is my biggest problem with the Christian music scene. Always copying, never innovating.
    lol what do you expect? christianity was borrowed from others as well. christian and innovation are two words that will definitely never go together.
    Red's better, IMO, mainly for their lyrical prose. It's Christian when you look for it to be, but if you didnt know they were christian as a band, you'd think it was about something else. That ambiguity is a good thing, IMO.
    Umm, Can I just say one thing? Pillar and Kutless started around thwe same time, and were around a long time before Red or Fireflight. If annyone's copying, It's Red and/or Fireflight.
    "let's pick on the christian band cuz i cant stand the concept of God and that insipid Christianity"
    religion has nothing to do with musical ability. I dont like pillar's music, and I don't like anyone else in their genre either. But I'd consider August Burns Red one of the better bands in the metalcore scene, and they're most definitely christian. I believe they said it perfectly, "Christianity is a religion and not a style of music"
    I would say that most of you guys are wrong. Disciple don't clone anyone, on their newest album, Southern Hospitality.
    KurdtStaley, wow. How about judging the music not the religion? All in all, this CD had me remembering the days of Where Do We Go From Here.