Sevendust’s members have been busy this year maintaining the band’s long-held title of the hardest working band in rock. Guitarist Clint Lowery released two new solo recordings this year – an album, God Bless The Renegades and an EP, Grief & Distance –and the band as a whole has released a new album, Blood & Stone. Drummer Morgan Rose added to the band’s new releases Friday with his latest studio recording, his new EP Controlled Chaos. The six-song record is another positive presentation from Rose, who in fact enlisted his Sevendust band mate Lowery to handle guitars for the EP (again cementing the noted reputation even more for the band). That is proven in part through the record’s musical arrangements. They will be discussed shortly. Its lyrical content plays as much into its presentation as its musical content. This aspect will be addressed a little later. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this new offering from two-fifths of Sevendust. All things considered, the EP proves itself an offering that every Sevendust fan will enjoy.
Sevendust drummer Morgan Rose’s new EP Controlled Chaos is a work that will appeal to every Sevendust fan. That is proven in part through the record’s musical content. While the title of Rose’s new record is Controlled Chaos, there is no sense of chaos by any means throughout the record’s musical arrangements. Though there is a lot of control. The information provided about Rose’s new EP states that the record took six days to track. That in itself could be considered chaotic, being such a short time frame. Even being such short time frame, the result really was so controlled, precise and powerful in its musical presentation. So to that end, the EP’s title does fit at least to a point. Audiences will easily recognize the influence of Rose’s primary gig throughout the record in the powerful melodic hard rock style approach to most of the songs. The most surprising of the record’s arrangements comes in its closer, ‘Exhale.’ This arrangement does take its own influence from Rose’s time with Sevendust, but is just so powerful in its simplicity. It is just Rose on vocals along with a piano. It is a powerful exhibition of Rose’s vocal talent as it shows that ability to really move listeners with his voice alone. The addition of the other elements, which will be discussed at more length in the examination of the EP’s production, adds even more impact to the minimalist composition. Between that, the Sevendust influence that is evident in the record’s opener and the rest of the album, and the growth that Rose and company show alongside that influence, the record’s musical content in whole forms a solid foundation for Controlled Chaos. The lyrical content that accompanies that musical content builds strongly on the record’s presentation.
The lyrical content featured in the record’s lead single is proof of the importance of the EP’s lyrical content. The song’s lyrical content focuses n “a narcissist,” according to comments from Rose in information provided about the EP. That is pointed out right from the song’s outset, in which rose sings, “Seething under my skin/Protecting all that I am/Anticipating for the last time/You can be/broken/All that you want/’Cause I won’t give anymore.” Right from this listeners can infer that the speaker is someone who is very angry in dealing with thoughts and emotions brought about by that person. The song’s chorus adds to the statement, as Rose sings, “Wish you feel alive inside/But nothing can change your mind/Erase the shadow left/behind/Stop and realize/I’m not the answer.” When he says, “Stop and realize/I’m not the answer,” that leaves zero doubt as to the noted statement. This is a matter that has led the main subject to reach a near breaking point. When all of this is considered with the song’s deeply emotional musical content, the whole of the song gains such impact. It is just one example of what makes the album’s lyrical content important. The lyrical content featured in ‘Exhale’ does its own share to prove that importance.
‘Exhale’ is so powerful, lyrically, because it comes across as someone who is letting out so much inner pain. Rose pointed out in an interview that the song’s lyrical content is biographical about himself. He noted, I wanted to semi-document how I felt being in a bad place and getting to a good place.” The larger story that he told had to do with himself going through a lot of personal adversity and coming out better in the end. This can be inferred even without a lyrics sheet to reference. What is so interesting here is the reserved nature in the wording of the lyrics. He sings in part in the song’s lead verse, “Holy angel/Forgive what I’ve become/Became the man who is here/Now the urge controlling my every thought/It’s telling me, “disappear”/All this…has me crippled to my knees…/The worst is done/Now that I believe/I’ll fade into the water/Where I can finally breathe/Where I can finally breathe.” This is all important to address because Rose noted in his interview, that ““I’ve had semi-documented issues with my own problems. I think a lot of us wonder, ‘How many people will show up at my funeral?’ I was in a pretty good place before I got sick and ended up in the hospital last year, and I was in a great place after getting better. I was able to look and see what the reaction would be if something catastrophic happened to me. I was blown away. I had gotten myself together and made it through a tough time. I was able to see how much everyone around me really cared. It was humbling.” His statement in this verse about things being better, and being able to breathe” is that recovery and seeing how many people care. It all comes across as perhaps Rose talking about dealing with depression. He adds, “the worst is done…” showing even more the story. This adds even more depth to the song’s lyrical content, and in turn, the impact of the song in whole when the song’s musical content is considered along with this content. It is just one more way in which the EP’s lyrical content is proven so important. The lyrical content featured in ‘Clarity’ is one more example of the importance of the EP’s lyrical content.
Rose said of the lyrical content featured in ‘Clarity,’ “It’s the feeling of washing away the day, so you can start fresh tomorrow. I’m getting rid of the turmoil, stopping my mind, and finding a way to restart.” Everyone has been at that point in life at least once if not more, where they have had to take a step back and put everything into perspective, which is what Rose seems to be talking about here. He delivers the message here as he sings in part in the song’s chorus, asking “what’s the meaning of it all…” and that we need to “Turn the page and look inside/To find the reason you’re inside your own world.” That couple of line is self explanatory, considering Rose’s statement as to the meaning in the song’s lyrics. Again, it serves to help make the song that much more accessible for audiences. As a result, it becomes another clear example of what makes the EP’s lyrical content so important to the record’s bigger picture. When the lyrical and musical aspects of the EP are paired, they make for a presentation that ensures audiences’ engagement and entertainment. They are just one portion of what makes the record appealing. Its production rounds out its most important elements.
The production that went into the creation of Controlled Chaos is key in its own way to this record’s presentation. The production of ‘Exhale,’ as noted earlier, is one clear example of that aspect’s importance. The mostly minimalist approach to the song, what with Rose singing against a piano is so moving. The airy, ethereal echo effect that was used in each element makes that simplicity work so well. The result is that the song sounds so rich and full, even in its simplicity. The layering of Rose’s vocals and the addition of the extra sound effects enriches the song even more. It adds to the contemplative nature of the song, in turn, adding even more to the song’s impact. The balance of the instrumentation and vocals in ‘Faster Man’ ensures here, that every element shines in its own right, ensuring that song’s impact, too. Much the same can be said of each line within the whole of ‘Come Alive.’ Rose’s screams and his “spoken” lines are so powerful in their own way here while Lowery’s guitar and Jason Christopher’s (Prong, Corey Taylor) bass line flesh out the song so fully. Taking all of this into account along with the production that went into each of the EP’s other songs, the end result is a presentation that works just as well for its overall sound as for its content. All things considered, the record proves itself a work that, again, will appeal to every Sevendust fan.
Morgan Rose’s debut EP Controlled Chaos is an impressive offering from the longtime Sevendust drummer. That is proven in part through the record’s musical arrangements. The arrangements featured in this record clearly exhibit influences from Rose’s long-running career with his primary band as well as his own influences. The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical content adds its own appeal to the presentation. That is due to the fact that it is just as accessible as the record’s musical arrangements. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements. That is because it is responsible for the record’s content sounding so good. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the record. All things considered, the EP proves to be a record that will appeal to every Sevendust fan. Controlled Chaos is available now. More information on the EP is available along with all of Morgan Rose’s latest news at:
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