23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Chances are, you're already a fan of HoGaB Pt. 1 if you're reading this review. I can tell you for certain that this album goes above and beyond the already amazing beginning to this story. As a whole, double concept albums have not held a great reputation. Corey Tayor and Co. have in my opinion set new standards to how a dual album should pan out.
Starting with the intense build-up of "Red City", this track without a doubt sets the tone for the rest of the album. Yes it is darker, however you're always able to see the silver lining in the clouds and hope within.
"Black John" is a song about one of the antagonists of the story. Its an excellent track with some amazing drumming and of course the catchy chorus Stone Sour almost always delivers.
"Sadist" is one of the darker, yet not heavier, tracks on the album. Amazing singing by Corey, you can feel the emotion he is portraying from the point of view from the protagonist of the story.
"Peckinpah" is definitely a stand-out track to me. The build-up to the chorus is absolutely intense!! The blast beats of the drums mixed with Mr. Taylor's aggressive vocals that deliver us into a clean and emotional chorus blow me away every time I hear it.
"Stalemate" to me compares with the likes of the tune "Tired" from part one. It most definitely sounds to me like the most radio-friendly song on the album. Its not to say that its a bad song by any means, but it probably stands out the least of all the others to me.
"Gravesend" sounds like old Stone Sour in the fact of its sheer heaviness and dark undertones. This probably has to be the darkest songs on the album. The lyrics are what makes it though. The story alone in this song alone tells us the battle of good and evil our protagonist faces.
"'82" is also one of the more radio-friendly tracks on the album. This one stands out to me more than "Stalemate" does. The guitar work is top notch and the chorus is absolutely astounding. It isn't at all a dark song, it conveys more hope and positivity than any other on the album.
"The Uncanny Valley" sounds like one of the more experimental tracks. The guitar work sound like nothing you've heard on a Stone Sour album thus far.
"Blue Smoke" serves as a creepy and forbearing intermission and a perfect intro track to our next song.
"Do Me a Favor" is something I'm sure you all have heard by now. You know it's already a blasting mad tune. I didn't much care for it at first, but it is now one of my top tracks by this band.
"The Conflagration" is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard before. Starting with just piano and drums mixed with Corey Taylors' amazing voice, this song unfolds into the best track on this album. I am personally not the biggest fan of their slower songs and ballads, but this one without a doubt is the golden child.
"The House of Gold and Bones" is a grand finale indeed. Starting with the chant, "RU486" which I'm sure you're familiar with, this song has everything and more in it that you love in Stone Sour. Aggression, catchy chorus, a great solo, and overall amazing quality are the best words I can use to describe it.
All in all, get this album right now. You have my word that if you're already a huge fan of Corey Taylor, then this album will not disappoint you. The real treat for me was the way that certain songs link directly back to some that are on the first part. I'll leave it to you to find which ones they are. You'll be grinning from ear to ear when you discover them.
I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2013
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I have only discovered Stone Sour a couple years ago when I heard their single "Say You'll Haunt Me" on the radio and I enjoyed it. I looked into them and have enjoyed many of their songs since. More recently I purchased HoGaB pt. 1 and compeletly enjoyed it, great hooks, great lyrics, and terrific instrumentation on thatr record. This half lives up to the anticipation thrust upon it after a brilliant part 1. It is darker, doesn't quite have the diversity that the first record has but it has much heavier, catchier riffs and more difficult instrumentation and in my opinion, more compelling lyrics to end the series of two. I shall now do a song by song review with a few words describing my decision.
1. "Red City" 9/10 - A dark ballad to begin the record, it really is a beautifully twisted song, the lyrics are brilliant but lacks a distinct melody which might upset fans but I think it's a terrific song.
2. "Black John" 10/10 - Such a catchy verse, the classic cymbal/bass beat creates this almost dance-like song. The lyrics are compelling, the guitar riff is infectious, one of the highlights of the record.
3. "Sadist" 10/10 - The longest song on the record clocking in at just over five minutes, the lyrics are brilliant, a slower song but nevertheless incredible.I particularly love the chorus, it's just darkly intelligent.
4. "Peckinpah" 10/10 - Another incredibly dark and heavy song but it succeeds with terrific lyrics, the chorus is heavy and epic, I just love this song for what it is. The riff in the bridge is just fantastic, simplistic but effective, the guitar solo is mind-bending, I love it.
5. "Stalemate" 10/10 - This is a song that would have worked well on the first part, an acoustic intro and a heavy metal riff follows. It's very catchy, has a thrashy edge and the chorus is catchy, the screams are well placed, and once again, the lyrics are amazing.
6. "Gravesend" 10/10 - Very dark, the heaviest song out of the two records. The lyrics are brilliant, the darkened screams are suprising (especially when the volume is fully up) but effective. The chorus is not my favorite but does a good job telling the story. The guitar solo is great by the way, a great song.
7. "82" 10/10 - The intro riff is original, it's just a classic stone sour song, great riffs and great words to compliment it. The chorus is really catchy, the guitar solo is short but effective (it's a reprise from the first record), it's just another great song.
8. "The Uncanny Valley" 8/10 - A slower song, more of a post-grunge sounding song (which is one of my least favorite genres of music). The best thing about this song is the chorus, incredibly catchy. The guitar solo is cool and is a reprise from the previous record. The acoustic guitars add something to the song, it's hard to say. I think it's a matter of opinion, listen for your self.
9. "Blue Smoke" 8/10 - A short electronic intro to "Do Me A Favor", it's really interesting, it's mysteriously haunting with some strings are strange sound effects, that's all I want to say.
10. "Do Me A Favor" 10/10 - A catchy, radio friendly song, the first single of the record. It's really great, I loved it from the first moment I heard it on the radio. The best part of the song in my opinion is the reprise towards the ending of "A Rumor of Skin" but other highlights are the verses and the guitar solo.
11. "The Conflagration" 10/10 - It's a beautiful song with a piano played by Corey. The lyrics are beautiful, the chorus is one of the best on the records, probably my favorite. It's a great song, one that you need to listen to for yourself.
12. "The House of Gold and Bones" 11/10 - Brilliant ending, from the chanting of RU486 to the heavy riffs to the pounding drums, everything is amazing. It takes many elements from "Absolute Zero" on the first record but really holds its on, it's amazing, great ending to a great record.
It's a great record, buy it for yourself for a friend, for anybody. I highly recommend it, my favorite tracks are: The House of Gold and Bones, Sadist, Black John, and Stalemate.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2013
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
This album has to be by far one of my most favorite albums. The songs are so well done and the way some of the songs directly correlate with other songs from part one make the album that much better. I would definitely recommend this album to anyone who loves rock, hard rock or metal. Stone Sour is amazing!