by Meteora3255 USER (10 Reviews)
July 22nd, 2005 | 13 replies

Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Pillar is an openly Christian nu-metal band in the same vein as Linkin Park. The band has three full releases Above, Fireproof, and Where Do We Go From Here?, as well as Broken Down The EP. The album I am reviewing is the re-issue of Fireproof containing a bonus track, the radio mix version of the song “Fireproof.” It also contains a bonus DVD of concert footage and a mini documentary of the current members of the band. This album was released after MCA signed the band. The band members at the time of the recording were:

Rob Beckley-Vocals, Emcee
Noah Henson-Guitars
Lester Estelle-Drums (touring)

*Note* For the recording of the album Brad Noone played the drums. *Note*

-Songs can be very catchy
-Bass intro on Epidemic
-Stay Up

-Can be repetitive
-Do we really need more rap-metal
-Rob’s singing isn’t always great
-Very Christian

The Individual Tracks

Fireproof-The title track to the album is a pretty good song. The guitar intro showcases the first of the down tuned guitars you will hear. Rob does a good job doing the singing/rapping in the vocals (melodic rapping anyone). The chorus is solid with the lyrics not being overly cliché. Then comes more melodic rapping and down tuned chords. The bass doubles the guitar and the drums are standard beats in this song. We go back into the chorus again, and then comes into the bridge which features a change in the guitar riff and shows a little skill from Noah, however not much. The vocals in the bridge come in over what sounds similar to the chorus music. Another repeat of the chorus and we have the first track. 3/5

Behind Closed Doors-The second track features a riff similar to that of Fireproof. Rob raps the verses and does decent at it. The verse is a mix between rapping and singing and we can see the similar form of fireproof coming into play already. Verse-chorus-verse-chorus-instrumental bridge-vocal bridge-chorus, it will get changed up very little throughout the album. The drums are featured a little more in this track, the vocals on the bridge begin with Rob whispering which builds into his scream, which is arguably better than that of other nu-metal vocalists such as Chester Bennington. The lyrics of the song are a little easier to apply to a secular crowd than in Fireproof, discussing people who say they are one person to the outside world but when they are behind closed doors they become someone else. 2.5/5

A Shame- Another generic guitar riff leads us into Beckley’s first singing verse of the album. One of the big decisions that the listener must decide is whether they like Rob’s singing vocals, and if you don’t, this album will not be for you. This song also returns to very Christian based lyrics, again with the person in question being ashamed to glorify Christ. It follows the same formula as before, however the singing does change it up a little. The bridge is nothing special although the guitar part is one of the more original parts on the album. Rob whispers/speaks some more words before doing his scream, however not as well as before, and goes back into the chorus. 3/5

Echelon-My personal favorite on the album, and one of the more rap influenced tracks. The rapping is done well by Beckley and the instrumentals are the most original yet (during the verses). On the CD Rob sings the background vocals, however on the DVD live, Noah sings them, and they are not to pretty. The formula is still the same as the past songs after the second chorus the songs goes into its bridge and features a guitar solo. The solo is simple but it fit’s the song well. The chorus repeats over just the drums then repeats again with full instrumentation. After that chorus the song is over a few more times Rob sings “Our Echelon.” Then the band continues on for too long, just press skip. Interestingly the original version of this song off of the album before MCA re-issued it contains some military effects to give the song a better feel before it begins, these are for some reason absent from this version. 4/5

Hindsight-Another more original riff begins this track. Again it is based off of Rob’s rapping, which will most likely be a love or hate aspect of the album. The chorus contains a more original riff than just chords as well, and Rob speak/raps it as well. We have the same formula as all the other tracks leading us into the bridge. The bridge sounds almost identical to that of Fireproof. Rob then comes in with a very powerful scream. The chorus comes back and finishes off this song. 2.5/5

Light At My Feet-Rob gets another chance to sing over a P.O.D. sounding riff. The guitars are again more original and well done, as well as the drums and bass. Rob sings with his same style however before the chorus he builds into a scream, then comes back to his singing. The “formula” continues to show up here. After the repeat of the verse-chorus the bridge comes upon us. It is almost silent, then comes back with a well played instrumental with Rob singing softly and sparingly over top. The chorus returns and this song ends. 3.5/5

Stay Up (ft. KJ-52)-This song features a good friend of Rob’s, popular Christian rapper KJ-52 (if he is new to you wait, I will post a review of his album soon). The song has a riff reminiscent of, but not copied from Echelon. The first verse is all Rob rapping, then the chorus features Rob and KJ alternating lines. The second verse opens with Rob until he introduces and lets KJ do his thing. KJ raps over less music than Rob and even has samples underneath him. The chorus repeats again, and we move into you guessed it, the bridge. The bridge begins with only the bas then the drums and guitar join in. Rob speaks over top of all this. The chorus then repeats again and ends out the song. KJ is a little less stellar on this track then on his own version (on the album I will review, he has a track that feature Rob.) 3/5

Epidemic- Kalel opens up the song with a little bit of slapping sadly that’s all we get from him, but it is still cool. The song has a better riff behind it than the other rap tracks, and the structure of the verses is changed a little as Rob pauses to let the instruments have a section without him. This same technique is used in the verse changing up the formula a bit. The bridge becomes soft and is not distorted and features a tasteful little solo. After this Rob screams outbreak and the vocal bridge begins, followed by a cool reprise of the main riff. Followed by the chorus and then you have the song end. 3.5/5

Just To Get By-The song opens with some sound effects and followed by the guitar playing a little doodle, then the band comes in with a riff similar to the one behind Epidemic. The rapping in the verses are again done well by Rob, then the chorus features, Rob singing and rapping alternately. The bridge again becomes soft and has no distortion. The Kalel is the focus of the bridge although you can hear Noah running a riff behind him similar to the eighth note riffs on songs such as “Thunderstruck.” Rob then does his whispering slowly building into a scream, which is again well done. The song then comes back with the chorus like the others and then ends. 3/5

Indivisible-Starts with a nice guitar intro, Rob, then comes in with his rapping. The lyrics in this song are based on the fact that this country was based on Christianity, and that those that complain about its use in our culture (“in god we trust” ect), can leave if they don’t like it. It reminds me of the pro-war country songs that are out there. The song itself is well performed by the band, with Rob giving another solid vocal performance with his rapping. The band plays the same kind of stuff they have played well, but the lyrics can be annoying because of the message. I may not always skip it, but more often than not I do. Following the formula we come into the bridge, which is just another set of riffs and jamming by the band, however the riffs are more interesting than the ones throughout the song. Follow that with a chorus and we have a song. 2/5

Further From Myself-The guitar intro sounds similar to Indivisible, and then the instruments are stripped down to the bones to showcase what is possibly Rob’s best vocal performance on the album. Rob sings the verse and the chorus well over minimal backup. The “formula” continues to bring us into a bridge. The focus again is a bass line from Kalel followed by Rob doing rapping over the bridge. The rapping works well and then leads into a chorus. This makes one of the best songs on the album. 4/5

Fireproof (Radio Mix)-After signing the band, MCA sent out a new mix of Fireproof to be used as a single for the band. A few rock stations played it once and twice (my home station played it late at night), and even less got enough attention on it to give it regular airplay. Also the Christian contemporary stations that were given copies did not play it, because listeners preferred the original version. The song has a few subtle changes in the mix and balance of the song but otherwise is the same track.

The DVD contains footage of the band performing Fireproof, Echelon, Indivisible, Further From Myself, and Just To Get By. The live performances are a nice addition but the studio versions are better. It also features a short documentary/interview with the band members, and is a nice touch, however it isn’t anything extremely special.

Overall-As far as nu-metal it isn’t a groundbreaking album like Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory, but if you want a different set of lyrical themes, or more positive outlook from a nu-metal band, this is a good album to buy. Download a few tracks first, though because you will want to decide if you like Rob Beckley’s vocals or not, and if you don’t avoid the album.

-Further From Myself
-Sunday Bloody Sunday (a U2 cover not featured on their albums, but if you like nu-metal and the U2 song this is a cool version of it.)

Overall Score 3/5

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Comments:Add a Comment 
July 22nd 2005


How can a songs rating be 3.5/4 or 2.5/3?

July 22nd 2005


There i fixed that error, although I can't believe i missed it.

July 23rd 2005


well after this album they took a turn and Rob decided to rap much less Where Do We Go From Here? is the album that was released last year and it contains very little rapping by Rob however the albums Above and this one contain almost exclusively rap metal songs.

Storm In A Teacup
September 24th 2005


My parents are having a garage sale and the wife of the lead singer of Pillar just came here and said that they live in the same neigborhood I do!

September 27th 2005


You should check them out live if they do a local show they are actually pretty good live.

October 9th 2005


Dude. Is there a problem with it being very Christian? I think it would just make it better. I'd say thats a Pro, not a Con.

October 10th 2005


i didnt mean it in that sense, i meant that it may turn off some people because of their message, which is a shame, because it is actually a pretty solid album.

October 10th 2005


yeah they are a really tight band especially theyre drummer

April 10th 2006


"where do we go from here" is a better album-this one is still good though

January 5th 2010


Album Rating: 2.0

poor album me thinks

January 7th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Brad Noone was repetitive, but the album rocked as a whole.

June 26th 2012


Album Rating: 5.0

Absolutely idiotic review. Listing "Too Christian" as a con is complete bs. Indivisble is not a con either. That song was one of the reasons I bought the album and this country is going down the hole because of liberal idiots like you.

June 26th 2012


Album Rating: 3.0

hahaha wow, create an account just to bitch about that? go back and play with your imaginary friend

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