Stone Sour - House of Gold And Bones 2Stone Sour

House of Gold and Bones Part 2

01. Red City
02. Black John
03. Sadist
04. Peckinpah
05. Stalemate
06. Gravesend
07. 82
08. The Uncanny Valley
09. Blue Smoke
10. Do Me A Favor
11. The Conflagration
12. The House Of Gold & Bones

[04/09/13]
[Roadrunner Records]

It was a pleasant surprise when Stone Sour’s first installment of a two part concept album with House Of Gold And Bones, Part 1 was released. It had everything and more, from amazing lyrics and some of the best vocals I heard in all of last year. The only question that remained, however, was whether or not they would continue to move forward and be as good on the second installment of this concept, which is completed with this record.

Right from the start, you can tell that this is a different album. The songs on this record are significantly less heavy than on the first CD, with more poppy and melodic choruses and slower-paced songs rather than just heavy riffing and heavy chorus lines. However, this is not a bad thing. If the second CD was exactly like the first, it would be boring. At that point, why even make another disc when it would just be the same songs recycled and rearranged? This album’s songs may not be as heavy, but they are definitely just as memorable, most notably the album’s closer, sharing the same name as the title. It takes some musical ideas explored with some songs on the first disc and compiles them into one song that is every bit as catchy as it is heavy. Other than this song and the first single ‘Do Me A Favor’, this album is pretty much alternative rock, which, again, bodes the band really well.

One thing that got even better, however, are Corey’s vocals. Whereas on the first disc he was screaming and singing, this disc really put his amazing vocal talents in the spotlight, and from start to finish you get to hear his voice sing to you like he’s right there with you. His cleans have dramatically improved since the days of Come What(Ever) May, and it really shows. The vocals on this are honestly the best Corey has ever done on any of his records. It is especially nice to hear that his vocals on this record are very clear throughout the entire album, never getting buried beneath the mix or any of the instruments. The rest o the band also are able to slow down the tempo and still produce heavy songs with catchy, melodic choruses that many bands cannot pull off without having some sort of gimmick or a set “formula”, if you will. The band just gets it; they get that writing catchy heavy music needs to be done correctly, and they certainly have done so.

The most surprising thing about this record is the fact that it is actually better than the first one, which some people may think is heinous considering how much lighter this album is. Less screams and more cleans, less distortion and more clean guitar, even some acoustic parts here and there. It all works really well. Most people, however, will like the other record more. For those fans who love the super heavy balls-to-the-wall songs, they will not like this record as much. The fans that enjoy the more melodic side of the band will definitely enjoy this album better. However, in order to get the full experience, listen to both albums consecutively, and you can see how well it works. This album’s structure leaves nothing to be desired, and it covers every domain imaginable that the band have been exploring since their self-titled release back in 2002. It combines everything correct that they did and puts it all into one fantastic record, which is all any legitimate fan could ever ask for.

So don’t be afraid or wary of the changes that you may hear on this record. Embrace them. Welcome the sounds of Stone Sour into your ears, and listen to this album. Better yet, listen to both one after the other, because the experience will not only be a pleasurable one, but you’ll hear one of the best albums to come out this year, and that’s no bull.

Stone Sour’s House of Gold and Bones Part 2 gets…

4.5/5

-SS

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