Sevendust Drummer’s New EP Shows More Control Than Chaos

Courtesy: Rise Records

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:

Website: http://www.morganfknrose.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MorganRose7d

Twitter: http://twitter.com/morgan7d

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

Disciples Of Verity Debuts New Single, ‘I Am I,’ Companion Video

Courtesy: The Label Group

Disciples of Verity debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘I Am I‘ Tuesday. The song and its video are the fifth from the hard rock super group’s forthcoming album Pragmatic Sanction. The band is planning on releasing the album in 2021. The album has already produced the singles ‘The Lost Ones,’ a cover of X Ambassadors’ song ‘Unsteady,’ ‘The Flow,’ ‘Lying To Myself,’ and ‘Worthy.’

The video for ‘I Am I’ features Disciples of Verity performing its new single on a stage to reflect the band’s look in a live setting. That imagery is accompanied by a story of a strip club manager who ends up getting what he deserves in the end from his employees.

Front man Corey Glover discussed the video’s story during a recent interview.

“My hat goes off to the folks doing all that hard work to make this video,” said Glover. “The director and the crew did a great job. The story they told was one of struggle and overcoming a system that more often than not, puts people (women) in financial and physical danger. I am proud of everyone who was involved in telling this story.”

Guitarist Mark Monjoy expanded on Glover’s comments.

“We had a great couple days of shooting with Tony at Kennette Productions,” said Monjoy. “We trusted his vision of what the video needed to capture, and we made it happen. Once you have a good team in place it makes our job that much easier.”

The musical arrangement featured in ‘I Am I’ is a heavy, guitar-driven work that will appeal to fans of Sevendust.

More information on Disciples of Verity’s new single is available along with all of the band’s latest news is available online at:

Websitehttps://disciplesofverity.bandcamp.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/DisciplesofVerity

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Blood & Stone’ Proves Once Again Why Sevendust Is One Of Hard Rock, Metal’s Elite Acts

Courtesy: Rise Records

Veteran hard rock band Sevendust has, for more than 25 years, remained one of the most respected names in the hard rock and metal community.  That is due to the top notch music that the band has crafted in each of its 12 current albums.  That reputation is sure to continue growing with the forthcoming release of the band’s 13th album Blood & Stone Friday.  The 13-song record is one of the band’s best works to date.  That is proven right from the record’s outset in the form of ‘Dying To Live.’  This song will be discussed shortly.  ‘Against The World,’ which comes later in the album’s 49-minute run time, is another example of what makes the album stand so strongly.  It will be addressed a little later.  ‘Nothing Left To See Here Anymore’ is yet another interesting addition to Sevendust’s new album.  It will also be addressed later.  Between these three songs and the rest of the record’s entries, the album in whole continues to cement Sevendust’s place as one of the elite acts in the hard rock and metal community.

Sevendust’s latest album Blood & Stone is another unquestionable success from the band.  Its musical and lyrical content alike certifies that statement, beginning with the album’s opener, ‘Dying To Live.’  The song wastes no time launching into its full-on aural attack with its pummeling guitars, drums and bass.  The song’s energy never lets up once from beginning to the end of the three-minute-plus opus.  The intensity that runs throughout the song takes the best elements of so many of the band’s existing works and uses them for this unique.  Even as the song reaches its bridge and suddenly becomes subdued, there is still a certain heaviness in that moment that will keep listeners engaged.  By the song’s end, audiences know that they have experienced something powerful and memorable as one of Sevendust’s best songs in what is already a crowded field of notable works.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out, of course.  The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s arrangement adds even more depth to the work.

The lyrical theme of ‘Dying To Live’ is important because of the message that it seems to hint at.  The message in question comes across as a commentary about paying attention to the bigger picture of the world rather than ourselves.  That is inferred right from the song’s lead verse and chorus, which finds front man Lajon Witherspoon singing, “We’re cold/Immune to the abuse/Whatever price you pay/They take away/The only thing that matters now/Every little thing we want/Rips out a piece of us/With all that we give/Why am I dying to live/With all that we have to face/Keep dying to live.”  That note of being “immune to the abuse” and “whatever price you pay/They take away? Hints at the fact that we as a society have become so desensitized to everything.  The note of “whatever price you pay/They take away” is metaphorical language that seems to speak to we as a society losing just as much as we gain because we have become so desensitized.  The song’s second verse infers the noted central message even more as Witherspoon sings, “Why do we believe/This time around/We found our soul/Better make your peace with death/And take what’s left/I’ll see you on the other side/I know.”  This seems to infer that we need to get our heads on straight and focus on what’s really important because this is the only life that we have.  We need to get our priorities right.  This is all just this critic’s own interpretation, of course and should not be taken as the only interpretation.  Regardless, the song’s lyrics are heavy.  That goes without saying.  When they are coupled with the equally heavy, infectious musical arrangement featured in this song, the two sides make for one whole that is a strong start for the band’s new album and an equally strong exemplary of what makes the album such a powerful new offering from Sevendust.  It is just one of the album’s most notable works.  ‘Against The World’ is another notable addition to Blood & Stone.

‘Against The World’ stands out almost instantly as it opens with the eerie, brooding keyboard line that opens the song’s arrangement.  The ethereal sense that the keyboard line creates lends itself to comparisons to works from Nine Inch Nails.  When it is coupled with the blistering guitar riffs in the chorus sections, that pairing makes the arrangement in whole even more unique.  The juxtaposition of that element and the band’s more trademark melodic hard rock approach that makes up the rest of the arrangement, the song in whole becomes another work that is certain to engage and entertain listeners.  As with ‘Dying To Live’ and the rest of the album’s songs, the composition’s musical arrangement is just one part of what makes it stand out.  Its lyrical accompaniment adds its own share of interest to the presentation here.

Witherspoon sings in the song’s lead verse, “Is there something you want to say/Get it out…Don’t hold on/If it burns you up…”  Much of the song’s lyrical content is difficult to decipher from here.  Though the mention of “it’s you and I/Against the world/I’m not gonna let you down…Still there’s something left to burn” would hint at this song delivering a message of someone being there for another despite certain factors coming into play.  Witherspoon even sings in the song that “You and I will find a way.”  In other words, (again going without a lyrics sheet to reference) this song would seem to be lyrically, a statement about focusing the anger and frustrations brought on by the world together.  If in fact that is the case, then the way in which the band approached that topic is unique here both lyrically and musically, and will certainly connect with listeners.  To that end, it proves itself yet another strong point in this record and another example of what makes the album so strong, too.  It is hardly the last of the album’s most notable songs, too.  ‘Nothing Left to See Here Anymore’ is the most unique addition to the album of all.

‘Nothing Left to See Here Anymore’ stands out in its musical arrangement as it takes the band’s more melodic side, but also presents a little bit of a bluesy influence, believe it or not.  While it boasts its own heaviness, it also presents a distinct mainstream sensibility that would make it a good fit for any active rock radio programmer’s play list.  It has that kind of sound and stylistic approach.  It’s heavy, but more in the noted corporate rock sound that is quite unlike most of anything that the band has ever produced.  The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s unique musical composition ads even more interest to its presentation. 

Witherspoon sings in the song’s lead verse, “Slapped my face again/So I can feel the one/Before this began…Time to tear down the walls/And start it again/You’re reaching out/I’m pulling back again/You’re reaching out/I’m pulling back again/There’s nothing left to see here anymore/I thought you’d never put me through this again/But the truth is/It’s always the same…So tear down the walls/And start over again.”  He continues in the song’s next verse, “How long/’Til this will end…”  Again, not all of the lyrics are able to be deciphered here without a lyrics sheet to reference.  However, what can be inferred from what is able to be understood, this song comes across as centering on the all too familiar topic of a broken relationship.  Whether it is just a personal, plutonic relationship with someone or a romantic relationship is left to interpretation.  That aside, the way in which the song approaches the topic manages to give it a unique presentation.  When this is considered along with the song’s even more unique musical arrangement, the whole makes the song in whole that much more of a notable addition to Sevendust’s new album.  When the song in whole is considered along with the other songs examined here and the rest of the album’s entries, the record in whole leaves no doubt as to its appeal.  All things considered, this record is another fully successful effort from one of the best bands in the hard rock and metal community.

Sevendust has, for more than 25 years, proven itself and then some as one of the elite acts in the hard rock and metal community thanks to its albums, its live shows and connection to its fans.  The band’s forthcoming 13th album Blood & Stone only serves to cement that reputation even more.  It takes the best elements of the band’s existing albums and builds on them to make yet another work that is solid from start to end.  All three of the songs examined here serve to support the noted statements.  When they are considered along with the rest of the record’s entries, that whole makes Blood & Stone one more of this year’s definite top new hard rock and metal albums, and Sevendust still one of the elite acts in the hard rock and metal community.  More information on Sevendust’s new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.sevendust.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sevendustofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sevendust

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

Alborn Debuts New Single, ‘Full Circle’

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Alt-metal band Alborn debuted its latest single this week.

The band debuted its single ‘Full Circle‘ Friday. The song was co-produced by Morgan Rose (Sevendust) and Jose Urquiza (3 Years Hollow) and mixed by Elvis Baskette. Considering Rose’s participation in the song’s creation, the Sevendust comparison in the song’s arrangement is no surprise.

The fiery energy in the song’s musical arrangement helps translate the song’s lyrical theme, which, according to front man Justin Taylor, centers on knowing one’s potential.

“’Full Circle’ is about getting stuck in a routine that keeps you from being what you want to be,” he said. “Repetition is inevitable, but negative repetition is cancerous. It can be very difficult to step out of a comfort zone, but at some point we all have to understand that we deserve more in life.”

More information on Alborn’s new single is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.albornmusic.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/albornofficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/albornofficial

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Alborn Signs Distribution Deal With Imagen Records; Live Show Set For Saturday

Courtesy: Imagen Records/ADA/Warner Music

Alt-metal  band Alborn made a big announcement this week.

The independent band announced Monday, it has signed a new distribution deal with Imagen Records (ADA/Warner Music).  The deal will see the band release its new EP Impairative Friday.

Imagen Records A&R Rep (and Sevendust drummer) Morgan Rose talked about the band’s signing in a recent interview.

“When the opportunity opened up for me to sign Alborn to Imagen, I jumped on it, he said. “I’ve known these guys for years and have worked closely with them. The songwriting is so unique to me. It’s fresh and not predictable. I think people will get so much out of what this band has to say.”

Imagen Records President Bob Winegard added to Rose’s statements.

“I’m excited to have them on our roster and I can’t wait until people hear their new music,” said Winegard.

The five-song record features four original songs and a cover of Alice In Chains’ hit song ‘We Die Young.’ Impairative‘s track listing is noted below.

“Impairative” Tracklisitng:

1) Prime
2) Let Me Bleed
3) Waves
4) The Maze
5) We Die Young (Alice In Chains Cover)

The band debuted the video for its cover of ‘We Die Young’ on June 25.  The video is a CG presentation that features images of items, such as bullets, crime scene tape at a house, and skeletons on a subway train.  Alborn’s take on the song stays largely true to its source material from start to end.

Alborn formed in 2016 in northern Illinois.  The band is composed of Justin Taylor (guitar/vocals), Alex Raser (drums/vocals), Zame Lewis (bass) and Nate Guske (guitar).  The band’s music has been compared to works from the likes of Deftones and Alice in Chains.

The band’s win in a battle of the bands competition led the group earned the band a recording session of Jose Urquiza of the band 3 years Hollow.  Rose heard the demos that the session spawned and came on board to work with the band.  Rose said of the sessions that he and Urquiza worked on with Alborn, “I was brought in to do some producing with Alborn and what grabbed my attention immediately was that they refused to conform to a formula. They wanted to be themselves from the start. It’s rare to find a band so young not wanting to follow an easy trend. I was impressed right out of the gate.”

The successes that the band has experienced since will result Friday in the release of its new EP.

In other news Alborn is scheduled to perform live Saturday at the Apollo Theatre in Belvidere, IL.  The band will serve as support for Monroe as it celebrates the release of its new record.

104.9 The X is presenting the concert.  Kegel Harley-Davidson is the concert’s primary sponsor.  Information and tickets are available here.

More information on Alborn’s new EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.albornmusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/albornofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/albornofficial

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Veer Union Debuts ‘Slaves To The System’ Video

The Veer Union debuted the video for its latest single over the weekend.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Slaves to the System.’ Friday.  The song and its video feature a guest appearance by Defending Cain front man Brandon Wright.

The ‘Slavs to the System’ video features the group in a semi-lit backdrop as it performs its new melodic hard rock song. It is a familiar stylistic approach for the band, which was also used in the video for the band’s then most recent original single from the band, ‘Defying Gravity,’ which was released in 2016. The band has released a variety of covers since 2016, but ‘Defying Gravity’ was at the time, the band’s most recent original work and video.

Courtesy: Rock Shop Records/TAG Publicity

The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Slaves to the System (ft. Defending Cain)’ is just as familiar for audiences as the stylistic approach to the song’s video.  It features a guitar-driven, melodic hard rock approach that lends itself easily to works from the likes of Sevendust and Gears.

The lyrical theme featured in the song is a sociopolitical commentary that addresses the current state of the world.

The band addressed the song’s lyrical theme in a prepared statement.

“Our new video depicts the struggles we are all experiencing as human beings in 2020,” the statement reads. “We need to come together as ONE people regardless of race, sex, colour or creed and rise above it all. Information is power and we need to be more informed so that society can be unified, if we don’t do this, we will all be ‘SLAVES TO THE SYSTEM.’”

‘Slaves to the System’ is available to stream and download here.

More information on ‘Slaves to the System’ is available along with all of The Veer Union’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://theveerunion.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/theveerunion

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/theveerunion

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phi’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Disciples Of Verity Debuts Video For ‘Unsteady’ Cover

Disciples of Verity is taking X Ambassadors’ hit song ‘Unsteady.’

The band debuted the video for its cover of the song Friday through Loudwire.  While DOV’s cover stays largely true to its source material, the heavy guitars and drums add a new edge to the song, giving it a new identity that is just as interesting as the original composition from X Ambassadors.

Directed by Dale “Rage” Resteghini an produced by Kim Resteghini, the video features the band performing its cover of ‘Unsteady’ “in a remote area of New York state.

“It was an extreme honor rockin’ on set with exciting new band D.O.V. and their iconic front man Corey Glover,” said Dale. “The whole band brought their friends and family and they enjoyed all the high wattage and fire as the band delivered an incredible visceral performance!”

Drummer Corey Pierce expanded on Resteghini’s statement with his own thoughts.

“It was an incredible day in a life that has had many, many incredible days,” said Pierce. “We shot an amazing video with an incredible look built by the efforts of a team full of highly motivated and energized people. The finished product is way beyond the expectations any of us had. We could not have asked for a better crew, experience and finished product.”

Courtesy: Loudwire/Disciples of Verity

The debut of DOV’s cover of ‘Unsteady’ and its video comes more than a month after the band debuted the video for its then latest single ‘The Flow.’

The song is featured on the band’s forthcoming debut album Pragmatic Sanction, which is scheduled for release Aug. 7 through The Label Group and INgrooves.  Pre-orders for the album are open now.

The album’s third single, it comes more than five months after the band debuted the album’s second single, ‘Lying To Myself.’  That song featured a guest appearance by Phil Demmel (BPMD, ex-Machine Head, Vio-lence) on guitar.

The band debuted the album’s lead single ‘Worthy’ last year through a partnership with Revolver magazine.  The song featured a guest appearance by Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy, Nevermore) on guitar.

‘The Flow’ features a guest appearance by Sevendust drummer Morgan Rose, who said he was excited to be included in the song.

“Any time you get an opportunity to track music with a legend, you jump,” he said.  “The track f’n rips. Corey sounds better than ever.”

Rose’s addition to the song, coupled with the band’s members — Corey Glover (Living Colour, Bowie Experience), George Pond (ex-Negative Sky), Dannny Puma (Negative Sky), Corey Pierce (Ex-God Forbid) and Mark Monjoy (Sekond Skyn) — the song bears those hints of a Sevendust influence.

The song’s lyrical theme is heavy in its own right, according to a statement from Glover.

“The idea that the world isn’t giving you what you deserve is universal,” Glover said. “Given the unrest in the world, today it’s more than an idea.”

‘The Flow’ is available to stream and download here.

More information on Disciples of Verity’s new single is available along with all of the band’s latest news is available online at:

 

Websitehttps://disciplesofverity.bandcamp.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/DisciplesofVerity

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

Lowery Falls Short In His Follow-Up To His Debut LP

Courtesy: Rise Records

Sevendust has, throughout the course of its now 26 years in existence, been considered to be one of the hardest working bands in the rock community.  That is because of the band’s seemingly nonstop touring and its studio product.  Founding member and guitarist Clint Lowery added to that reputation Friday when he released his new EP Grief & Distance.  The five-song record was released as a surprise to everyone, as there was no buildup ahead of its release.  According to information provided by publicists, the record is a collection of songs that Lowery recently wrote following the recent death of his mother and the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.  The record, whose release comes less than five months after the release of his debut solo album God Bless The Renegades, is an interesting new offering.  That is due in part to the basis of the songs, especially as it relates to the arrangements.  This will be discussed shortly.  The record’s makeup is another important factor to discuss.  It will be addressed a little later.  It is both a positive and a negative for the record’s presentation.  All things considered, the EP is an interesting new offering, but in the bigger picture of Lowery’s body of work, comes up short, but not necessarily in the worst way.

Grief & Distance is an intriguing new offering from Sevendust guitarist Clint Lowery.  The five-song EP, which was one of those surprise releases that artists put out from time to time, is a powerful new offering from Lowery.  The catch is that because it is such an emotionally impacting record, it is not a presentation that audiences will find themselves taking in on a regular basis.  As noted already, press releases distributed Friday about the EP’s release, cited Lowery as saying the three original songs that make up the bulk of the EP’s body were crafted in response to the passing of his mother and to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.  To its defense, it isn’t the first record of its kind to ever be released.  Plenty of other albums and EPs (and even movies) have been released over the years that require audiences to be in a certain mindset in order to be appreciated.  However, just as with those other releases, taking such an approach ultimately reduces the frequency of play.  Keeping that in mind, these very reserved, melancholy musical works prove ultimately to be problematic for the EP, but it doesn’t necessarily keep the album from being heard.  It just limits the frequency with which audiences will take in the EP.

As much as the EP’s arrangements make it problematic, the record’s makeup makes up for that issue, at least slightly.  To the positive, it can be said that the record does have at least three original songs versus its two alternate takes of songs from his debut LP.  In other words, the original make up more than half of the record’s body.  Adding even more to that discussion is the fact that the songs are, as noted, original works.  They are not just songs that did not make the final cut for God Bless The Renegades.  Had these songs just been previously recorded but unreleased songs, that would have been another negative, but thankfully that was not the case.  To that end, the record’s makeup actually does justify it as a viable EP.  It is the record’s main saving grace

While the record’s overall makeup is a positive in its bigger picture, there is still a concern with the makeup in another sense.  The concern is that all three of the originals and even the acoustic takes of the previously released songs are all very brooding, moody songs.  In a time in which people need some kind of hope (even if it is false hope), people need that comfort.  This brings everything full circle back to the earlier discussion on the mood of the songs.  Had Lowery chosen acoustic takes perhaps of some of his heavier material from God Bless The Renegades in place of the two songs featured here, it might have helped things.  The mood and tone of the two acoustic songs only continues the very melancholy mood that permeates the EP’s originals.  If he was trying to make up for that mood with these two extras, the attempt failed.  Keeping that in mind, it detracts from the record’s presentation that much more.  Keeping this in mind along with everything else noted here, the end result of Grief & Distance is that it makes itself a record from which listeners may find themselves putting some distance.

Clint Lowery’s surprise EP Grief & Distance is a work that will appeal to a very targeted, specific audience base.  That is due in part to the fact that Lowery crafted the album while he himself was in a very specific mindset.  That understanding help lead to an understanding about the fact that the songs are musically and lyrically very melancholy and brooding.  While the EP’s content will impact the size of its listener base, one good thing that can be said of this EP is that it does qualify as an EP considering its overall makeup.  Sadly though, that is its one positive.  The two alternate takes of songs featured in God Bless The Renegades detract from the record’s presentation even more in that they do little to offset the very melancholy feel and sound that runs throughout the record.  Between this matter and the EP’s overall mood and sound, it becomes a presentation that will find a difficult time resonating with audiences, save for those who are in the same mindset that Lowery was in crafting the record.  To that end, it is worth at least one listen, but sadly not much more than that.

More information on the album is available online now along with all of Lowery’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.clintlowery.net

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/clintlowery.net

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/clintlowerynet

 

 

 

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Mark Morton Shines Again On His Second Solo Record

Courtesy: Rise Records

When Lamb of God guitarist Mark Morton released his debut solo album Anasthetic last March through Spinefarm Records, he more than showed the expanse of his musical abilities and interests.  The record, which joined Morton with a number of well-known names, such as the late Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington, Alter Bridge front man Myles Kennedy and ex Screaming Trees front man Mark Lanegan, showed Morton as a truly original and creative musician, not just one of the members of Lamb of God.  He followed up that successful offering this past January with his debut solo EP Ether.  The five-song EP, released through Rise Records, will get a second life of sorts June 19 when it is released on vinyl through Rise Records.  Regardless of whether one prefers vinyl, CD or even digital, the fact of the matter remains that Ether is a positive follow-up to Anasthetic.  That is due to the record’s musical and lyrical content.  Its penultimate song ‘Love My Enemy’ is one of the songs that serves to support the noted statement.  It will be addressed shortly.  The EP’s opener ‘All I Had to Lose’ is another way in which Ether shows its strength.  It will be addressed a little later.  Its follow-up ‘The Fight’ is one more way in which Ether shows its strength.  Together with the covers of The Black Crowes’ ‘She Talks To Angels’ and of Pearl Jam’s ‘Black,’ ‘The Fight’ and the other noted songs make Ether a wholly enjoyable follow-up to Anasthetic and one more of this year’s top new EPs.

Mark Morton’s debut EP Ether is a strong follow-up to his debut 2019 album Anasthetic.  Much with that album, this EP shows once again why he is more than just a member of Lamb of God, but rather a talented, creative musician in his own right.  That is evidenced in part through the EP’s penultimate song, ‘Love My Enemy.’  The song, which features vocals by Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage, Blood Has Been Shed, Light The Torch), presents an interesting musical arrangement.  The verses conjure thoughts of Alice in Chains, what with the layered vocal effect and the subdued guitar and drum lines.  The chorus however, boasts more of an Alter Bridge type of sound as the guitars and vocals step up.  The song’s bass line adds its own touch to the whole to make the work’s composition quite engaging and entertaining in its own right.  What is important to note here is the pairing of that duality in the song’s arrangement and its connection to the emotion and message in the song’s lyrical theme.  The song’s lyrical theme serves to make that reason for that juxtaposition clear.

Jones sings in the song’s lead verse, “Open wounds before the start/This is where we fall apart/It’s alright/Eternity can die today/It’s alright/It’s okay.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “We can greet the end alone/Sorrow needs an empty home/It’s alright/Years and pain can fade away/It’s alright/It’s okay.”  In the song’s third and final verse, “Jones sings, “There’s no replacing/The time we’re wasting.”  These verses are deeply introspective, needless to say.  That final verse is relatively clear, as it makes a statement about making the most of the time that we have.  The first and second verses meanwhile will generate their own hare of interest.  Maybe the lead statement of “open wounds before the start/This is where we fall apart” is a statement connected to the note of the wasted time.  It’s as if it is making a note about open wounds being a failure from the beginning.  The statement in the second verse years and pain being able to fade away seems to perhaps be a statement of hope, that the past can be just that.  This is of course all this critic’s own interpretation.  The song’s chorus adds even more impact to the song, as it comes across as perhaps someone battling with him/herself.  The chorus states, “I can’t live on memories/I can’ love my enemy/We cannot repair the past/A broken heart is made of glass/No, I can’t live on memories.”  This seems like someone who is torn with trying to overcome the thoughts of the past and look to the future.  It would explain why the song’s musical arrangement is so much more powerful in the chorus than the verses.  It would serve to illustrate the subject’s heightened emotion in this moment.  This leads the song’s more contemplative counter to those heightened emotions to make more sense along with its musical accompaniment.  Again this is all this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as gospel.  Hopefully it is somewhere close to being correct, though.  Keeping all of this in mind, the song’s lyrical content proves just as important as its musical content.  All things considered, the song in whole, with its engaging musical and lyrical content shows well on its own, why Ether is another strong offering from Mark Morton.  It is just one of the songs that serves to exhibit that strength.  ‘All I Had to Lose’ does its own part to keep listeners’ ears and minds.

‘All I Had to Lose’ is important to note because it presents its own unique identity separate from that of ‘Love My Enemy’ and the EP’s other songs.  The song’s fully acoustic arrangement is a radio ready composition that will connect easily to audiences.  The addition of Sons of Texas front man Mark Morales’ vocal delivery adds to that commercial viability for the opus.  The combination of those elements makes the song in whole a work that is comparable to works from so many mainstream rock bands.  The appeal created through the song’s musical arrangement will keep listeners engaged, and in turn, paying attention to the song’s equally engaging lyrical content.

The lyrical content featured in ‘All I Had to Lose’ generates its own engagement because of its own contemplative nature.  Morales sings in the song’s lead verse, “We were reckless for a season, now/Restless with a reason/I can’t tell/If we were victims of the vices/Or addicted to the crisis/Lived through hell.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “We laid with it/Dead and dying/Told ‘em all we were just trying/To be alive/Closed our eyes/I know that we could leave/The lies we didn’t want to leave behind.”  He adds in the song’s third and final verse, “Watched the colors fade away/Reached out by the sun/left her for another day/Prayed it would never come.”  The precise concept here is not clear at least to this critic.  It comes across as something of a statement about perhaps someone taking things for granted in life.  Whether that is in relation to a personal relationship or something else is up for discussion.  It would be interesting to learn the exact relation of that seeming message.  That Morales sings in the song’s chorus, “And when you came up for breath/I knew there wasn’t nothing left to do but choose/And everything I lost/Wasn’t much compared to all I had to lose” adds to the argument that the song’s lyrical theme is a personal message about taking for granted what one has in life.  Again, what exactly was being taken for granted – whether it be a personal relationship or something else – is something that is left for interpretation.  Either way, the fact that this seems to be the message makes the song’s musical content couple well with this half of the song’s content.  Taking everything noted here into account, the whole of the song shows even more why Ether will keep listeners engaged from start to end.  It is just one more way in which Ether proves its appeal.  ‘The Fight’ is one more way in which the EP shows its strength.

‘The Fight’ is an interesting addition to Ether.  That is due in part to its overall musical arrangement.  This composition is so starkly opposite of any of the other songs featured in this record.  The verses are distinctly subtle, but not necessarily reserved per say.  There is a certain Sevendust-esque sense to the song from the band’s more recent works, in listening closely to the arrangement.  The chorus meanwhile pack a little bit more of a punch, but it’s not a knockout punch.  Even in this case, there is a certain amount of control.  It makes for a very interesting listen.  It is not necessarily a radio ready work, but still is worth hearing.  That unique arrangement couples well with the song’s equally engaging lyrical theme, which comes across as one of those songs about someone driving along and having enough time to contemplate a lot of life matters.

Moontooth front man John Carbone provides the vocals for this song.  His vocal delivery is comparable to that of Sevendust front man Lajon Witherspoon as he sings in the song’s lead verse, “Thundering down the cold, dark desert road/It ain’t the miles you’re looking at/Ain’t the pavement you see/But its ghost/And all the trials that lay ahead/Yeah, it becomes your only friend.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Rumbling ground/It shakes from the load/the burden that you live to bear/Deafening sound, it rings in your soul/Make you forget what brought you here/Now the ending ain’t so clear.”  While the song’s musical arrangement doesn’t quite do so, this portion of the song leaves one making comparisons to Bob Seger’s hit song ‘Turn The Page.’  It seems to have that same kind of lyrical approach; someone on the road, lots of thoughts on the mind, etc. etc. etc.  It is an interesting sort of update, although it likely was not intended.  The comparison is strengthened even more as Carbone sings in the song’s chorus, “When you live for the fight for too long/You burn for the bloody way out/But the only hope for a victory/Is to learn to lay it down.”  It’s as if he is saying, even with all the thinking and things on a person’s mind, a person may want a certain outcome, but the outcome we want may not always be the best outcome.  Again, this is all this critic’s interpretation.   Hopefully it is in the proverbial ballpark.  That aside, all of this is sure to generate its own share of discussion among listeners.  Together with its accompanying musical content, the engagement and entertainment ensured through the song’s musical and lyrical content shows once more why Ether succeeds overall.  Together with the two covers that join this work and the EP’s two other originals, the record overall proves itself to be a complete work and a complete success for Morton and company.

Mark Morton’s recently released EP Ether is a strong follow-up to his debut solo album Anasthetic (2019).  That is because it continues to exhibit Morton’s talents as more than just another metal guitarist, but a widely-versed musician and songwriter.  That is evidenced through all three of the record’s original works and its two covers.  The musical and lyrical content in each original as well as the adaptation of the covers do well to support those statements.  All things considered, Ether can be considered in whole, to be one of this year’s top new EPs.

More information on Ether is available online now along with all of Mark Morton’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://markmortonmusic.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/markmortonmusic

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/MarkDuaneMorton

 

 

 

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Gears Debuts ‘Stronger Than Pain’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Independent hard rock band Gears debuted the video for its latest single over the weekend.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Stronger Than Pain‘ Sunday.  The video features live footage of the band over which the lyrics for the song are superimposed. The band originally debuted the video for ‘Stronger Than Pain’ online through The Noise on May 1.

The song’s musical arrangement will appeal, much like its past works — ‘End This‘ and ‘Tango Yankee‘ and its cover of Living Colour’s ‘Cult of Personality‘ — to fans of Sevendust.

The song’s lyrical content delivers a theme of perseverance through life’s obstacles, according to a statement from Gears drummer Jimmy Wooten.

“We’ve actually been sitting on this song for a while now,” he said.  “With everything happening in the world today, it just seemed that now would be a good time to unleash it.  It’s meant to be a battle cry that empowers us and says, ‘We will overcome anything that comes our way.  We are stronger than everything we face.’  I think it’s more fitting now than we would like to admit.  We all hope everyone is staying safe, healthy and strong.”

‘Stronger Than Pain’ is scheduled for release May 8 on all digital platforms.  Audiences can pre-order/pre-save the song here.

Gears was founded in February 2014 by Trip 6, Eli Parker, Tommy Herres and Jimmy Wooten.  After its founding, the band released its debut EP Set In Motion in May 2014.  Some time later, the band parted ways with Parker, who had played guitar with the band, and replaced him with Bobby Thomas.

June 2015 saw work start on the band’s sophomore EP Pride Comes Before The Fall.  the band teamed up with guitarist Corey Lowery (Stuck Mojo, Saint Asonia, Stereomud, Dark New Day) and Troy McLawhorn (Evanesence, Seether, Dark New Day) for the EP along with Thomas and fellow new member Chris Dorame.

Following a run on the Riser Tour with I-Exist, the band debuted the lyric video for the EP’s lead single ‘Face Down.’  Its debut was followed by the EP’s release on Nov. 10, 2015.

Gears wasted little time releasing new music from there, debuting the video for another new single, ‘King,’ on Feb. 23, 2018.

Gears’ current lineup is composed of Trip Six (vocals), Jimmy Wooten (drums), Josh Routt (bass) and Jack Andred (guitar) according to information on its official Facebook page.  The band is in the studio now with Lowery, working on more new music.

All of the band’s latest news is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.gearsofficial.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gearsofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OfficialGears1

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.