Stone Sour are a well-known American rock band, formed by members of Slipknot, Corey Taylor and Jim Root. They have released five albums. Their fourth and fifth albums are a set: House of Gold and Bones Part 1 and 2. Along with these albums, Taylor decided to dabble in comics, releasing a four-issue mini-series that goes along with the two albums, following the journey of a character called ‘The Protagonist’. Following as the sequel to Part 1, fans of Stone Sour will not be disappointed by this release.
Much darker than the first, Part 2 I would say is one of their best albums – it has a lot of substance that can partially be credited to the dark lyrics that help to form the character of Taylor’s comic series, but also due to some seriously complex guitar work. The first track Red City is a great opening track that gives you a taste of the tracks to come – hard drumming, guitar riffs, group vocals, and interesting tempo changes. Black John has some awesome aggressive lyrics that go well with the blunt rhythms. They also have some great guitar solos. Sadist is one of the ballads of the album, with personally provocative lyrics. We then after some radio sounding white noise progress directly into a resolution with the next track Pekinpah with its heavy slow beat. Stalemate is one of those promise types of tracks, quickening the pace again for the listener. Gravesend is an interesting track; the layered vocals are pretty cool if you listen closely – one of my favorite tracks off the album. 82 and The Uncanny Valley are the lighter more rock styled tracks of the album. Blue Smoke has some atmospheric type propeller sounds, piano, and echoed vocals. The next track was the single for the album Do Me A Favor – a pretty good single for the album (it frequented my weekly iPod playlists), although I felt it could have been placed better within the context of the album. The Conflagration has more of these deep lyrics – could definitely be sung dramatically out in the rain in a RomCom. House of Gold and Bones is the last track, and brings an ending to the story of the album – I like that the track with the album name was last. All said and done, I can see why this album had been raved about; it is interesting and enjoyable to listen to. If you are interested in the story of ‘The Protagonist’ there are interviews with Taylor for each individual track on youtube where he outlines the progression of his character (See link below for Gravesend). After watching some of these interviews, I realized that to Taylor, it was not just a character, but a reflection of himself – this explains why many of the tracks had moments you could tell were personal to him… this definitely played a major part in what made this album so first-class!
Review by Jamie Erickson.