Sound — 9
I'll get right into it: Although many people perceive Stone Sour as a Slipknot side project, they were actually the band Corey Taylor & Jim Root were in before joining Slipknot. Corey & Jim revived the group in 2002, and have released three albums to date. Their fourth album, "House Of Gold And Bones" ("HoGaB" for short) is their most ambitious record yet, coming in the form of a two-part double-disc concept album ("Part 1" will be released October 23rd, "Part 2" in May 2013). Recently, the band issued a double single containing the first two songs on the record: "Gone Sovereign" & "Absolute Zero". Stone Sour stated that the reason for doing this is that the two songs link thematically, so separating them would feel disjointed. For the purpose of this review, I will review each song separately (lol). 01. "Gone Sovereign" - The first song on "House Of Gold & Bones Part 1", "Gone Sovereign" starts with a minute or so of just guitar and Corey singing. At the minute mark, the drums join in and the song explodes into a high energy melodic metal tune. The tempo is fairly fast, and the song actually harkens back a little bit to Stone Sour's first record. The guitar solo section is awesome, with several short solos strung together into one section. Corey sounds like a man possessed on this track, and his roars are more vicious than ever. 02. "Absolute Zero" - This track will probably throw some people off, since it begins with a chant of "hey-ay-ay-ay-ay". Honestly, it sounds kind of weird and doesn't really fit with the song. Once we move past that little detour, "Absolute Zero" fires in on all cylinders. The song is just as heavy if not heavier than "Gone Sovereign", and the tempo is a little faster. Again, the guitar solo section is great, and Corey sounds amazing. I rate "Absolute Zero" 8/10 only because the "hey-ay" sections at the beginning and end of the song don't really contribute to the song at all. In short, they're unnecessary.
Lyrics — 9
"House Of Gold & Bones" is as frontman Corey Taylor has put it, "a morality play" lyrically. "Gone Sovereign" and "Absolute Zero" do link thematically. I won't go into what each song is about necessarily, since they are part of an overall concept. Plus, the lyrics are kind of abstract. I have taken the liberty of posting links to the lyrics for both songs in this review so you can read them for yourself and decipher your own meaning from them. http://www.elyrics.net/read/s/stone-sour-lyrics/gone-sovereign-lyrics.html http://www.elyrics.net/read/s/stone-sour-lyrics/absolute-zero-lyrics.html On both songs, Corey sounds in tip-top form. His clean singing is as usual beastly, while his roars that punctuate sections of each song are vicious and sound a (little) bit like his vocals in Slipknot.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, the move by Stone Sour to release the first two songs from "HoGaB Part 1" as a double-single was a great one because both songs are great and should get fans excited about the rest of "HoGaB" if they're not already (I know I am already excited). They have done what bands should do when releasing singles: they have given the fans a taste of what's to come but has left them wanting more. October 23rd can't get here soon enough.