2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Building to something great,
This review is from: House of Gold & Bones Part One (Audio CD)
It almost seems unfair to review this album on its own since, to me, it clearly feels like the beginning of something bigger. Ive never listened to a two-part album where they actually felt like they require their counterpart. For those unaware this is also a concept album telling the story of a man at a crossroads and has to decide to run back to adolescence or move toward adulthood. I have never been a fan of concept albums since every one I have listened to either feels repetitive as it tries to maintain a theme throughout or the vocals become a cross between reading from a book and opera. That being said...THIS IS HOW YOU DO A CONCEPT ALBUM! Corey manages to tell his story while varying the style, theme, and pacing throughout. For those that were underwhelmed by Audio Secrecy (my favorite album of 2010) due to the slower less brutal direction this album should be a nice return to form for you. There are some slower breakdowns in a few spots but the majority of the album is classic hard-hitting Stone Sour. Corey, as always, puts his all into this album. His writing and vocals are phenomenal and continue to show growth and expansion. Jim Root and Josh Rand are the most underrated guitar duo of this generation. Their playing is some of the most unique and complimentary guitar duality in the industry and HoGaB is a fine example of this. Roy Moyerga's playing is top notch once again. His drums really drive and compiment the heavy guitars throughout the album.
Gone Sovereign: The album opener and first single is a complete explosion and great way to begin the journey of this story. The guitars have somewhat of an 80's quality to them which is something different for Stone Sour.
Absolute Zero: Gone Sovereign's counterpart is a heavy hitter with a great chorus. The heavy riff that drives the song is one of Jim and Josh's best.
A Rumor of Skin: This song could easily fit with Stone Sour's first album. Jim and Josh really display their collaboration on this song.
The Travelers Pt.1: A nice cooldown from the first three songs. The background music is what stands out for me on this one. Corey and his acoustic take the forefront while string instruments and some light guitar fills add alot of depth.
Tired: My favorite song of the album! Again Jim and Josh really shine on this one. The guitar solos are among my favorite in Stone Sour's catalog. Corey's vocals really take control in this song while the lyrics have a very cool feeling of the story's main character speaking first-person to the listener.
RU486: The heaviest song on the album. It has a very classic Anthrax feel to it. To me this song has a very subliminal quality to it. The intro, lyrics, and layering of the chorus give a sense that the story's character or even the audience is being "activated" in likeness of something similar to Manchurian Candidate.
My Name is Allen: This song is kind of a mix of all of Corey and Jim's styles. Theres moments of classic Stone Sour, moments of newer Audio Secrecy Stone Sour, and even moments of Slipknot when Corey has sections of just speaking in a dark voice. I like this song but the chorus does feel a little ackward to me for some reason.
Taciturn: My 2nd favorite on the album. This song is similar to Imperfect (one of my favorite SS songs) from Audio Secrecy as the main two components are Corey's voice and an acousic guitar. It is very simplistic and yet completely satisfying. The chorus really displays Corey's vocal range. My only criticism, which admittedly is nit-picking, is I really would've preferred the song without the heavy guitar driven 3rd act. Perhaps thats my love for Imperfect's skeletal style speaking. That being said this song has one of the best and most unique guitar solos on the album.
Influence of a Drowsy God: This song gives the sense that you are building a conclusion...or I guess it would technically be an intermission in this album's case. The bridge and guitar solo are the prominent parts for me in this song. Not to give the impression that I dislike the song but it is probably my least favorite on the album. I do enjoy the song and have yet to skip it while listening to the album but it doesnt have many standout moments to me so far.
The Travelers Pt.2: A louder and more guitar driven version of Pt.1. I like the way the two halves of this song compare and differ from each other, giving the sense that the character is struggling more with his internal conflict.
Last of the Real: The most intense song on the album. Corey's vocals are very in-your-face and intense and yet it has a nice hook to the chorus that will keep you coming back. Where most albums tend to save a more mellow or cooled down song to leave the listener walking away on...not the case here. The album closes with a feeling similar to a great tv cliffhanger...leaving you on the edge of your seat wanting more. Luckily we only have a few months to wait until Stone Sour gives us our conclusion.
Stone Sour is my favorite band so I may be biased but this album gives me alot of hope that, paired with the concluding half, House of Gold and Bones Part 1 will be a groundbreaking career-defining album for Stone Sour. Putting the music aside for a second, the design of the album packaging that allows the two albums to interlock and create an actual house is pure genius!