Stone Sour

House of Gold & Bones Part 1

Written by: BV on 06/11/2012 09:26:17

To alternative-metal and hard rock fans, Stone Sour needs no introduction. You might love them or you might hate them. Personally I find myself in between these two states, since I actually do love their first two releases ("Stone Sour" and "Come What(ever) May") but feel some strong ambivalence towards their third release ("Audio Secrecy"). Their newest release; "House of Gold & Bones pt.1" is the first part of a double-concept album, with the second part due to be released in early 2013. Musically, Corey Taylor (Vocalist) describes the album to be "somewhere in-between Pink Floyd’s 'The Wall' and Alice in Chains’ 'Dirt'.", which I of course find to be a rather bold, and perhaps ambitious statement, seeing that these two albums are practically legendary in their own right.

The album opens with two fast-paced, riff-based songs "Gone Sovereign" and "Absolute Zero", containing some haunting vocals and mean drum-work. These two songs kick off the concept of the album with a nice set of descriptive lyrics, giving us an introduction to the main character’s mental state. With the foundation for the concept laid down, the album continues with “A Rumor of Skin” which is a more slowly driven track that primarily gives off a dark and gloomy vibe that goes really well with the concept. The album then goes into “The Travelers pt. 1”. This primarily acoustic track took me by surprise, and I was quite pleased to hear how well it sort of segued in to the next song called “Tired”, with an almost “A Day in the Life”-like (The Beatles) ending. The next few tracks however, seem drearily anonymous to me as if they are just there to lead the concept further on. I understand this decision quite well, however, as there has to be a compromise at some point in order for the concept to become fulfilled. So just to be clear, these aren’t bad songs at all; I just don’t think they stand out as much as the other songs on the album. After some more or less anonymous tracks, the album closes with “Last of the Real”, a classic hard rock riff-based track and a powerful closer of the album, with its hard-hitting “give me what I want now!” kind of lyrics, amazing drumming and crushing guitar sound.

One of the more interesting and perhaps puzzling things about the album, is the inclusion of multiple string-instruments i.e. violins and cello’s. I find it particularly interesting because these instruments aren’t exactly dominating the album. As a matter of fact, they are surprisingly toned down to the point where it is hard to see the point in including them at all. Anyway, while the concept is certainly thoroughly worked through, I do feel that there are a few uninteresting passages here and there, but in general I am quite pleased with the album. Perhaps I would appreciate it even more, if Corey Taylor had not set the bar so high with his bold statements about the album's sound. Nevertheless, I feel this is a classic example of how to write a concept album, and I am anxious as hell to listen to part two.

Download: The Travelers pt. 1, Tired, Gone Sovereign
For the fans of: Slipknot, Soulfly

Release Date 22.10.2012
Roadrunner Records

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