Sound — 8
Contrasting with their first two releases, Stone Sour's Audio Secrecy opens up with a somber piano track that sends chills down your spine instead of straight up punching you in the face (like "30/30-150"). The song "Audio Secrecy" flows nicely into "Mission Statement", however, which rings with the familiar riffage of Josh Rand and Jim Root, not to mention Corey Taylor's powerful vocals. The song reminds me of "Made Of Scars" from their previous record (Come What(ever) May), but with some added flair. The main riff in "Digital (Did You Tell)" has a nice groove to it. "Say You'll Haunt Me" is very catchy, with a sort of dark, clean guitar track, backed by some pounding drums until the chorus, which is quite catchy. "Dying" has the makings of a second single, and a lot of people can probably relate to the subject matter. "Let's Be Honest" has me slowly bobbing my head each time I listen to it, as does the following track, "Unfinished". "Hesitate" slows the album down for a few minutes, and is reminiscent of something you could slow dance to (if, of course, the subject matter were appropriate). "Nylon 6-6" picks up the pace again though, for a few short moments before "Miracles" slows it down again. The bass resonates throughout the song, and gives the song a somber mood. "Pieces" is one of my personal favorites from the CD, I love how the music sets the mood for the lyrics perfectly. "The Bitter End" sets the CD up for a strong finish; it's a fairly aggressive song. "Imperfect" features just Corey's vocals and some guitars backing him for the majority of a song, closing out the last minute and ten seconds or so with bass, as well. "Threadbare" finishes out the CD quite nicely, fading out.
Lyrics — 10
Corey Taylor's powerful vocals provide a raw energy to the CD in a way only Corey Taylor can. His voice is that of sincerity, and you can tell the material he's brought to the album really matters to him. Whether he's nearly screaming in the chorus of "Say You'll Haunt Me" or singing his heart out in "Dying", his presence is always felt as a part of the whole work, rather than just a layer over of the music.
Overall Impression — 10
Stone Sour do not disappoint with Audio Secrecy. Their third release has enough of their old sound to enjoy it, but mixes a lot of new influences that breathe new life into the band. Fourteen tracks fly by in 54 minutes of pure bliss, as Stone Sour is stronger than ever. Some of the strongest songs they've put out are on this record ("Mission Statement", "Dying", "Unfinished", "Hesitate"), and even the weakest songs are stronger than the strongest songs from some bands these days. The mixture of riff-driven metal and clean, soft rock makes for an amazing record.