Sound — 8
If there is one thing that Stone Sour proves on its latest CD Come What(ever) May, it's that it will be a hard task indeed to pigeonhole them. On the band's second major-label offering, with the styles differing so much from song to song, vocalist Corey Taylor shows that he is much more than one of Slipknot's masked men. Rounded out by guitarists James Root (another Slipknot member) and Josh Rand, bassist Shawn Economaki, and new drummer Roy Mayorga, Stone Sour make a distinct effort to create layers on their songs that many bands don't have these days.
Although Taylor may receive the spotlight much of the time because of his frontman status, most of the credit really needs to go to the amazing guitar work by James Root and Josh Rand. The two guitarists provide the most interesting aspects of the album and make Come What(ever) May much more than just another metal band. From the first track 30/30-150, in which a beautifully executed dual guitar solo is played by Root and Rand, listeners know they can at least expect quality axe work.
One of the standout tracks is Hell & Consequences, which contains the best guitar solo on the record. Straying from the song's basic rock foundation, guitarist Josh Rand offers up a solo that is full of Middle-Eastern flavor. You're not expecting it and that's the best part. While the rest of Hell & Consequences has a catchy chorus and features some of Taylor's best vocals, it is during the guitar solo that the song is the most effective.
There are weak moments in the CD where the songs almost seem bland in comparison with Stone Sour's more impressive tracks. Made Of Scars is not a bad track, but it lacks the musical intricacy that can be heard in Hell & Consequences. Likewise, Through Glass is a pleasing ballad that most likely fans of Stone Sour will adore, but it does rely too much on one lyric that repeats over and over for most of the song.
Lyrics — 8
Stone Sour's lyrics definitely carry a testosterone-driven theme in many cases, and fans probably wouldn't want it any other way. In Socio Taylor sings, I don't know what's wrong; It's like I'm too far gone; It doesn't matter anyway. The lyrics do get a bit predictable in some songs with similar themes as Socio, and the band proves they have more interesting ways of relaying the anger and/or pain.
In Come What(ever) May, there is a very different feel to the lyrics, with a more specific style to the writing and sounds as if it's an ode to President Bush. Taylor sings, Can you take away every single day; That we have given to another false prophet, and later goes on to sing, Show your pretty face; hide the bitter taste; You're still the rapist of an entire nation. The rhyming is a little bit more unexpected and results in a much more interesting and thought-provoking track.
Overall Impression — 8
Stone Sour has a sound all of its own, and that is probably the most refreshing element to the band. Leaving behind the Slipknot ties, vocalist Taylor and guitarist James Root have created a distinct sound that deserves praise in its own right. The new CD is not afraid to go soft at times, and hearing a ballad just a few minutes after experiencing a pounding double bass pedal is actually quite a treat.
Fans of the Stone Sour's first CD will likely love the new one, even with its imperfections. There is plenty to recognize, particularly the solid guitar solos that are featured throughout Come What(ever) May. A few times the band does sound a bit too much like other rock bands out there today, but the solid musicianship heard on the record is not so common these days -- and that in itself is a godsend.