Reviewed by Katie Hart
The Reckoning by
"...a forceful album that will leave hard rock aficionados eager for more."
Scratch your formulaic expectations about Pillar’s latest release, The Reckoning. Pillar has taken an abrupt turn from its last album, Where Do We Go From Here, going for a sound that is harder, edgier, and throws a twist into the mix with a pop song and a country song. Lead singer Rob Beckley explains things this way, “We’re concerned with what our fans think of us, and we don’t want to let them down, but at the same time we know that in order to grow you can’t stay stagnant.” While this growth may lose Pillar a few fans, it’s sure to gain them many more, as The Reckoning’s sound is being compared to Tool, Rage Against the Machine, and AC/DC.
The album’s first single, “Everything,” opens the album with a powerful message, strong guitar hooks, and a steady rock beat. It isn’t until the third song, “When Tomorrow Comes,” that more than a glimpse of Pillar’s old self comes shining through. The next two songs tip back to the new sound with searing vocals.
My favorite song on the album was “Last Goodbye,” reminiscent of the previous album’s “Simply Love.” The story behind the song tells of Beckley’s friend, who lost two sons in almost simultaneous car accidents, and the lyrics warn us to express love before it’s too late.
The hat tip to country music, “Angel in Disguise,” and a brief musical interlude continue the somber tone, which is broken by the screaming vocals of “Crossfire.” The next song, “Resolution,” strikes a perfect balance between Pillar’s old and new styles. A pop/rock blend, “Sometimes” adds a bit of fun to the primarily serious album, and the following song brings a slow tempo with a message of contentment. The final song gives The Reckoning a haunting end with the realities of empty pursuit.
Even after seven No. 1 radio singles and eleven Top 5 hits, Pillar isn’t resting on its laurels. “It’s way too convenient nowadays to record music,” Beckley says. “It used to be if you wanted to do it you had to really work at it. You had to be obligated and committed to it . . . I think that’s why this record is so cool to us – because there’s so much passion in it, because we worked at it.”
That diligence paid off with a forceful album that will leave hard rock aficionados eager for more.
Katie Hart loves the written word. She's published several articles, poems, and nearly 200 reviews in magazines and websites such as Christian Communicator, Church Libraries, Infuze Magazine, Christian Library Journal, and ChristianBookPreviews.com. She's written two novels and is working on her third, a fantasy. Also a Christian music fan, she helps out regularly with concerts at her church and strives to promote the artists and bands she enjoys. Visit her online at her blog.