Released: Sep 7, 2010
Genre: Alternative Metal, Post-Grunge
Number Of Tracks: 14
Vocalist Corey Taylor and guitarist Jim Root return for the third time with their Stone Sour project. Melody + metal = Audio Secrecy.
UG Team, on september 09, 2010 8 of 12 people found this review helpful
Sound: Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor, easily one of the most talented singers in rock music, and 'Knot cohort, guitarist Jim Root, return with Stone Sour, their "other" project. It cannot simply be dubbed a "side" project, since the band has Grammy nominations and gold records under their belts and are so much more than an offshoot they work on in their spare time when Slipknot goes on hiatus. Stone Sour also have an array of hit singles, to boot, from previous albums in the form of "Bother" and "Through Glass" while Audio Secrecy's "Say You'll Haunt Me" is propelling the band at this current moment.
The band is adept at melding melodic and metallic, and they sure inflict their share of sonic bruises with "Mission Statement," "Let's Be Honest" and "Digital (Did You Tell.)" Audio Secrecy is the most polished Stone Sour record of the three, but none of the edges have been dulled or blunted; Taylor is too intense ever be muted and his cast of players gel to form an ironclad musical curtain.
Take a listen to "Unfinished" if you want to know what a Stone Sour punch in the face feels like. While many Slipknot worshipping maggots wonder why Taylor and Root go the Stone Sour route, it's simple; Stone Sour is an outlet for them to do their thing and to do something else, which is a noble and beautiful pursuit for a musician. Sure, Stone Sour are more traditional than their main outlet, yet the music is still heavy enough to scare the little kid next door. The songwriting is tight and memorable and a bit cleaner, which helps elevate the band a notch above their peers. Stone Sour's closest relatives with Audio Secrecy are Stone Temple Pilots and Disturbed, as all three bands have masterfully learned how to pit bone-shattering riffs alongside unforgettable choruses. That is not as easy at is sounds. Have you tried it? // 9
Lyrics: Corey Taylor seems to be in a better mental space and place on Audio Secrecy. But don't doubt that his enraged vocals can still inflict blunt force trauma with their power. He's more introspective and less an anti-hero on Audio Secrecy, and while he explores more mature topics and subject matters, he's not getting geriatric on us.
He's just showing us another side of his dynamic personality. Dying is a ballad where Taylor's expressive voice is painfully immediate as he sings, You leave me suffering til I can't feel a thing / It's all I got when I want more. It's a simple but poignant statement that the dudes and the chicks that go to see Stone Sour live can easily relate to. When he repeats, Tell me who I am on Mission Statement, you can't help but wonder if he found the answer he needed or wanted to the person he poses that proclamation to. That's the richness of Audio Secrecy you are left with questions and any good piece of art doesn't provide all of the answers. // 9
Overall Impression: Some diehard fans of Taylor and Root's other band may be confounded by Stone Sour, but to not give the band a fair shake would be an incredible disservice to themselves. The rest of the band is tight as a pair of Jenna Jameson's pants. Drummer Roy Mayorga, late of Soulfly, is the rhythmic foundation, pounding the skins and sounding like monstrous and startling claps of thunder, all of which is complemented by bassist Shawn Economaki. Guitarist Josh Rand also adds to the album's heft. This is one secret you will want to share. // 9
HWFG1, on september 10, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 8
Lyrics: 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. // 10
Overall Impression: 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. // 10
EpiExplorer, on september 14, 2010 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: I've always had a little bit of a soft spot for Stone Sour since listening to their second album. Stone Sour has sounded pretty much the same since the self titled debut (with the exception of Corey's vocals and evolved guitar work) and with each release having been affected by the changes made in any new Slipknot album in some tiny way.
Audio Secrecy is a new fresh blast of what is a strange mix between traditional heavy metal, grunge riffing and some of Slipknots newer material. The production (as with every Corey Taylor tinged album) is top notch if bordering on the overly cooked side of things because of Corey's love of reverb and delay. James Root/Josh Rand are two decent musicians and know a good tone but have refrained from including the groovy/bouncy riffing from Come What(ever) May which have featured a lot in Stone Sour. However, there are more harmonic leads and harmonized riffs like in the song 'Digital' which was automatically a favourite track from this album. Another added bonus is some tinges of progressive music within the album. This applies most notably to 'Nylon 6-6' which actually has what sound like (note the term 'Sound like') djent riffs and drum beats. Also there is a lot of focus on atmosphere as well in the aforementioned song and in certain points in other songs.
But for every good thing to say about Audio Secrecy there's something bad to say too. While the guitar riffing is more accessible and less erratic, it's also simplified. While I can't complain about the melodic nature of SS, something's telling me Corey Taylor is still trying to dumb down the heaviness of all the records he is a part of. His voice on earlier records was a bit gruffer, rougher around the edges so to speak but on Audio Secrecy his clean singing is a bit more radio friendly by a noticeable fraction and it isn't helped by him barely using his new technique with growls and screams which were balanced out on previous albums. It's also, like most bands that made it big in the early 2000's, has a lot of the same melody, scales and was partly designed for radio. // 7
Lyrics: Well SS knows how to meld a tune properly so that the lyrics, vocals and instrumentation blend pretty well together and don't sound out of place.
But that's where, in general, the praise ends. Lyrically, I can't imagine what possesses Mr Taylor to keep using his background as a reference for lyrics. Okay, fine, he's had an interesting (and self publicized) life filled with 'hardship and turmoil' but with EVERY album from Slipknot and Stone Sour it's been featured as the basis for all his lyrical content. After a while, it becomes boring. From the song 'Hesitate':
Cuz I see you, but I can't feel you anymore
So go away
I need you, but I can't need you anymore
Vocal wise it's a similar story. I know that Stone Sour is a pretty commercial band, but even for Stone Sour, Corey Taylor has really taken the 'boyband' approach to harmonized vocals a bit too much. Even though he's used his talent for metal growls and screams on previous SS albums in a moderate manner, Audio Secrecy features next to none of these vocals and its almost disappointing to hear a song like 'Nylon 6-6' featuring ONE GROWL in the intro. // 6
Overall Impression: I wasn't really expecting much to change from Stone Sour and Audio Secrecy is pretty close to what I was expecting. Even though the vocals have (in my mind) downgraded slightly and the music is a little bit more simplified, overall Audio Secrecy is entirely solid and a casual SS fan and even a Slipknot fan can enjoy it.
Songs to look out for: 'Mission Statement' is a pretty heavy opener for this album and is somewhat climactic in its structure, featuring build ups to a grooving chorus. 'Digital (Did You Tell)' is classic SS and balances Trivium-esque melodies and riffing with a pretty addictive chorus. 'Let's Be Honest' doesn't have much going for it but it's after the first verse you listen to the weird melodies and heavy riffing during the very 80's Metallica bridge that make this song noteworthy. 'Nylon 6-6' is by far one of the heavier tracks on the album, featuring a modern prog metal riff structure and vocal delivery as well as a spine-melting chorus. 'Pieces' has a good melody going through it, even if it's not spectacularly impressive, it's almost a relaxing' metal song. 'The Bitter End' is another heavy song, and in fact rings of very heavy industrial music and one of the few songs that features Corey Taylor using his vocal growl to good effect. Definitely a favourite. 'Threadbare' is a song like none other than SS have done, featuring a more brooding atmosphere, almost melancholic. I almost mistook it for a song by Antimatter. Then it all kicks in again after a soft bridge and rumbling drums and industrial-esque riffs bring back the almost sad nature of the song and it's a pretty good closer for an otherwise just-above-average SS album.
Who to recommend it to isn't that hard a choice; anyone who has ever liked Stone Sour will like it because it's just a little bit more of the same with some rather good tracks. Here's some blasphemy: I'd choose Audio Secrecy over The Panic Broadcast as an album to recommend and listen to. // 7
Thomasg2488, on september 24, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The past years have seen Slipknot go on break after they have released an album and played on tours where afterward singer Corey Taylor and guitarist James Jim Root go and begin their recording sessions for Stone Sour. This time however has seen Slipknot go through the passing of bassist Paul Grey and while it is uncertain if his death has had an impact on Stone Sour's third album release, Audio Secrecy, it almost feels as though they are releasing their grief onto this album by channeling that energy into something that would have made Paul proud. It seems that not only has the band been able to surpass their praised second album, Come What(ever) May, but have exceeded it by leaps and bounds. The album is much heavier in terms of singing, guitars, bass and drums and that fortunately for many fans of Taylor's vocal abilities and Root's guitar playing, coupled together with the heavy playing of Josh Rand on rhythm guitar, Shawn Economaki on bass and Roy Mayorga on drums turns this album into something that many bands fail to achieve, an album that can be played over and over again and never grow tiring. It takes a lot to impress me as a music consort and while I've heard albums that have impressed me in recent years whether it be Metallica's Death Magnetic or Slash's solo album debut, I have not heard an album give this much energy and show a band dedicated to their art since the early days of Metallica or Guns N' Roses. It pours out such a fire that it's hard to describe and while it may have only one real standout hit with mainstream, Say You'll Haunt Me, the album as a whole is something that will never get old. From the heavy tones of Mission Statement, Say You'll Haunt Me and The Bitter End to the slower more in depth feelings of Dying, Imperfect and Miracles, Audio Secrecy is something that has a song for everyone and then some. In short, it's very hard to not listen to every song. // 10
Lyrics: For those who know of Corey Taylor they know that he is a vocalist that has a immense range to sing in and is known as a very great writer when it comes to lyrics. In Audio Secrecy, Taylor sings more about his own person feelings, wishes and dreams than he has done in Slipknot. However, since Stone Sour is not Slipknot in terms of heaviness, at least in my opinion, he sings more clearly and you can understand what he's saying from the first time listening to each song. That isn't a knock on Slipknot so Maggots for Life, please don't get mad. As it's been stated, Stone Sour is Taylor's band to begin with and he prefers to sing with more melody and feeling, otherwise for lack of better words, a musical outlet to share his ideas to the world. As for the lyrics, they never feel like they've been watered down and express a deeper desire to show his inner workings of what he thinks of the world and himself. Where they are most inspired and expressed seems to be in the first single of the album, Say You'll Haunt Me, which speaks of his feelings for his wife in such intense waves of passion its hard to find anything else to really say that could challenge it. That's not saying that he doesn't give it all in all the other songs as they still hold their own to show that one single will not hold them and back, that they will break out and show the world they deserved to be regarded as a song that has its own life in it. If you want the short version, Corey Taylor is amazing and the backing vocals are there to provide the background with their own intensity. // 9
Overall Impression: While many know that Stone Sour is simply an outlet for Corey Taylor and Jim Root to get away from Slipknot for awhile and express the visions they see, it's hard not to believe that Stone Sour could actually be a band that is on par with its darker brother Slipknot on its own merits. While Stone Sour may not be the primary band for Taylor and Root, it shows that they can create music in multiple parts of the musical range and create great music to go with it. The first two albums were great for the band while they awaited for their Slipknot brothers to regroup, but with Audio Secrecy it's now no longer just a side project or a creative outlet but a living, breathing organism that will have fans clamoring for the next album. Perhaps the reason to its success is that it is simply that, an outlet. By treating it as something that isn't as important as Slipknot, Taylor and Root have made it so that they can create music they love without having to worry about what everyone else thinks about it and thus making it fun to play. Or maybe they needed to let their frustrations of losing their close friend out in a positive way this time around and use it as a way to grieve. Whether it's that or the other, it doesn't change the fact that Audio Secrecy is easily a contender for Album Of The Year awards and everything else that comes with it. For those who are looking for a singer / guitar player duo to the likes of Axl Rose and Slash or David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen, look no further, Corey Taylor and Jim Root have arrived. Paul Grey would be proud. // 9
curiousjoe, on september 30, 2010 1 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: Now, I'm not a fan of slipknot or most of the bands heard on most radio stations today. I do however give respect to cory taylor and his great voice. I'd have to say his finest moment was "The rich man" on the roadrunner united album, he did fantastic on it. But I just can't like this album no matter how hard I try. I'm not saying that SS is untalented, I'm sure if they really did try they could write some monumental stuff, but from the DVD it seems that they wanted to make a simple, radio friendly album. Every song just sounds the same to me and I just can't have that. Sure there are some catchy riffs and some good soloing but overall its all just one big letdown. // 6
Lyrics: I don't even know where to begin on these lyrics. You can sense his pain and emotion in the songs but they are all about the same thing. "I love you but I can't have you, even though I would give you everything, I need you but can't stand you." Thats pretty much it, I know cory can do much better than this menial theme over and over and over and over. // 5
Overall Impression: Well, I sometimes like to gamble on certain artists I've never listened to and most of the time I am not let down. I have only been disapointed twice, but since buying this album I must add another to the disapointed list. I would not recommend this album to anyone looking for something serious to listen to. This is all radio friendly, simple music that has been done so many times over. // 5
unregistered, on february 17, 2011 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: When I first heard this album, I thought it sucked...but for whatever reason I kept it in the CD player in my car and it really grew on me.
That was 3 months ago and now I can honestly say it is one of my favourite albums of the past five years. There is plenty versatility in this album. It goes from heavier songs like Home Again (Bonus Song) and The Bitter End to some really nice acoustis songs like Dying and Imperfect. And as all albums do today the radio-friendly song: Mission Statement. The quality and sound really blew me away and Stone Sour did an excellent job on this album. // 8
Lyrics: Corey's lyrical and vocal ability never seem to let me down. He really got some raw emotion in the lyrics which I believe is due to the fact that this is the first album he recorded after Paul Grays Death (Correct me if I'm wrong.)? I personally think Corey did the best job on Imperfect. The lyrics are so strong and the emotion in his voice just gets to me. Overall, great job. // 7
Overall Impression: I have never heard an album like it before. Usually bands like to get one particular sound out of an album which Stone Sour definately does not do here. I thought the album was extremely well done considering they blended all of these genres into one album and it turned out great! // 9
stonesourbruin, on march 01, 2012 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: When stone sour released their first self titled album it was more or less the classic Slipknot scream rap and cuss a lot with some slight rhythm here or there. But with come whatever (may they branched off from that slightly. In their newest CD audio secrecy stone sour shows their not just a Slipknot side project more than ever they have softer tracks like miracles, hesitate, etc. And the radio in between songs like say you'll haunt me, dying and home again with the special edition. But they also still have the harder tracks see lets be honest for an example of that. This album has something for everyone. // 10
Lyrics: Corey Taylor's never been the best lyric writer but shows slight improvement here. But generally all the songs have the same meaning I love you but can't have you I hate you but can't stay away. I mean that would be great for maybe three songs but not the whole album. The only songs that branch off from that really are: hate not gone, Saturday morning, mission statement, and digital (did you tell) and the bitter end. I mean that's 5 out of 18. Really? // 6
Overall Impression: Overall the shaky lyrics aside I would recommend this album any day it has a great sound and a little something for everyone. For whoever gets this you will not be disappointed. If this got stolen I would definitely buy it again. My only complaint is there should be a slight change in some lyrics but overall great. This to me is better than stone sour albums from the past. Check out tracks: "Dying", "The Bitter End", "Hate Not Gone", "Let's Be Honest". // 8