House of Gold & Bones Part 1
01. Gone Sovereign
02. Absolute Zero
03. A Rumor Of Skin
04. The Travellers, Part 1
07. My Name Is Allen
09. Influence Of A Drowsy God
10. The Travellers, Part 2
11. Last Of The Real
Stone Sour has had its ups and downs. After releasing two great records in their self-titled debut and Come What(Ever) May, they had garnered audiences that sought both the heavy and radio-friendly sides of the band. Then, they released Audio Secrecy, an album that failed, at least to this reviewer. The same pop-rock songs done to death, uninspiring lyrics and music, and an overall sense of running out of ideas seemed to come over the band. After working so hard to find their ground they got knocked down as swiftly as they found it. So when it was revealed that they would be releasing a double concept album in the form of House Of Gold & Bones, skepticism was everywhere. Could they return to their roots, being heavy and memorable while also developing songs for radio? As far as the first half of the double album goes, they have succeeded.
This album is a return to form for the band in many different aspects. It’s raw, unapologetic, and just heavy. From the first song to even the softer semi-acoustic ballads, this record is meant to be heavy, and gosh darnit, it is. This record displays something that was always lacking for the band; previously, the softer songs weren’t as memorable, and it felt as though the band were just doing what someone said they should do. The band is fantastic live, and Corey Taylor is always filled with energy. It made no sense for him to take things so lightly like he did with some songs from all three albums. You could tell he wanted it to be heavy, but in all honesty it just wasn’t translating. The band finally sat down and recorded a record that can be as catchy as it is metal, which is no small feat without selling out. The band have combined the best of both worlds on this new record, and it is up to par.
One thing that really improved was Corey’s lyrics. On Audio Secrecy and even some songs on Come What(Ever) May, it felt forced, and a little half-hearted. As if he was putting pen to paper without understanding that lyrics are more than that; it’s about bringing the most powerful and emotionally-evoking words from your head and letting them flow effortlessly through the pen to form words on a page, and make them last. Taylor found that sweet spot. His lyrics are evocative, simple, and most importantly, memorable. The best lines on the record come from the ballad ‘Taciturn.’ Taylor writes: “In the middle / Under a cold, black sky / The sun will only burn for you and I / In the moment / Before I lose my mind / These hours don’t mean anything this time.” A standout track on the record, this is just an example of Taylor finding his footing in a sea of troubles and rising above to churn out some of the best lyrics of his career.
In reference to the rest of this album, there is nothing to fault. The production is crisp and clean, and it’s actually one record where the “loudness wa
r” failed to claim another victim. It has plenty of low end, which also makes for a fantastic listen with some speakers that can handle massive amounts of bass. This record is meant to be blasted at full volume anywhere you are at any time, and it will definitely turn heads when it happens. By the way, if you knew who the producer was (David Bottrill), you would have expected nothing less than the best. The rhythm section is also on point, with the drums and bass weaving delicate little circles around each other to form many memorable sections that will make you go “Hell yeah, that’s heavy!” and start banging your head until you blackout. It’s also the ideal length, at eleven songs all averaging four minutes apiece. Which brings this review to its final thought.
While it may seem unorthodox to end a review on such a mysterious note, in this case it shall be done. Reason being the second part is coming out this year, and the review will pick up where this one left off, and also compare and contrast both records in terms of quality, heaviness, and memorability. So, until Part 2…
Stone Sour – House of Gold & Bones Part 1 gets…