Pillar

Fireproof

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Over the years, Christian rockers have embraced everything from pop-metal to new wave to thrash. So it was inevitable that some bands would use rap-metal to promote a Christian message, which is what Pillar does on Fireproof. Musically, this Kansas band mines the same rap-metal and rap-rock waters as Kid Rock, Rage Against the Machine, Fat, Limp Bizkit, and Linkin Park. But lyrically, Pillar doesn't have Rage's anti-establishment outlook any more than they share Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit's macho bad-boy perspective; instead, Fireproof is a place where chugging, downtuned guitars are combined with a Christian-oriented message. Pillar, however, isn't in-your-face or militant about their Christianity -- Fireproof isn't telling listeners, "Convert to Christianity, or else." If anything, optimistic tracks like "Echelon" and "Behind Closed Doors" are promoting Christianity in a subliminal way; to put it bluntly, Fireproof doesn't sound like a Jerry Falwell sermon. And because their lyrics aren't taking the fire-and-brimstone approach, this CD stands a good chance of crossing over to secular audiences. Musically, Fireproof isn't innovative -- anyone who spent a lot of time listening to alternative rock stations in the late '90s or early 2000s has no doubt heard a lot of similar-sounding bands. And the lyrics aren't groundbreaking either; since the early '90s, P.O.D. has been demonstrating that rap-metal lyrics can be spiritual and optimistic. Nonetheless, this more uplifting vision of rap-metal isn't an idea that has been run into the ground, and some metalheads will find it rather refreshing to hear another rap-metal band that isn't totally dark. All things considered, there is a lot to like about this solid, if derivative, CD (which originally came out on the Nashville-based Flicker label in 2002 and was re-released by MCA the following year).

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