Sound — 9
Dark, thematic, beautiful - one of the most anticipated albums of this year has lived up to its hype. The new album is arguably the best work of Stone Sour so far. This new album is a bit different from the past 3 albums, without being overly new. Comparing to this, "House Of Gold & Bones Part 1" felt like you were only just entering the door. "Part 2" takes you to the depth and roots of it, and richly satisfies you. In a musical sense, Stone Sour has really outdone himself. The songs feels much matured and complex, the lyrics are the best of the work of Corey Taylor yet. Unlike its predecessor, very few of the songs has the "in your face" attitude. The arrangements are much more complex. And the thing that makes this album special, that is doesn't feel like overly exposed. They give every one of the instruments just the right amount of time, and it blends in perfectly together. And if you listen "House Of Gold & Bones Part 1 - 2" from top to bottom, you'll have a feeling of "completeness".
Lyrics — 8
As I said before, the lyrics are the best works of Stone Sour yet. Corey Taylor was not lying when he said it feels like "movie soundtrack". Stone Sour has taken some really dark and metaphysical themes. And with the riffs and songs are a good match to the songs. Some songs like "Black John", "Peckinpah" and the title track are more like the heavy metal songs of the old times. Some are inspirational, some are beautiful and some exposes the dark emotional depths of a person. As a singer, Corey Taylor does not need any introduction. One of the best and versatile vocals around. He's soft and harsh at the same time. The front man of Slipknot's piano works are worthy of mentioning as well. Since I'm a guitar player, I loved the works of Jim Root (who is a guitarist of Slipknot as well) and Josh "Hitman" Rand and well. The solos and harmonies are beautiful. The guest bassist Rachel Bolan of Skid Row is a great fit to the band too. Roy Mayorga is worth of mention too.
Overall Impression — 9
Here's a breakdown of each songs on the album: 1. "Red City" - A haunting, dark ballad.The song is about experiencing failure and unfortunate circumstance.The bridge gets amped up and Corey Taylor gets his growling vocals in range. A good song to start off with. 2. "Black John" - One of the heaviest songs on the album.Great for radio play and crowd-pleaser as well. It features a good solo too. 3. "Sadist" - One of the best songs on the album. It has complex layers, great guitar work and some excellent vocals by Corey Taylor. The bass intro by Rachel Bolan is fitting. In the middle, the songs get heavier and darker as well. Very similar to Slayer's classic "Season In Abyss". 4. "Peckinpah" - The chorus is particularly heavy in this one. The arrangements of "Sadist". Although, not better from it. Also shows, how versatile Corey can get in one song. 5. "Stalemate" - This song stars of slowly, but gets heavier in the process. One of the best solos on the album. 6. "Gravesend" - A song about being in the grave. Great bass and drums works too. The song is dark like some of the songs in the album. 7. "'82" - Another concert and crowd pleasing song. It has the "in your face" attitude. The riffs are very catchy. And is very much similar to Stone Sour's hits. 8. "The Uncanny Valley" - Great guitar works from the start. Although, it gets a bit repetitive. The chorus is pretty catchy and like-able. 9. "Blue Smoke" - The shortest song on the album, but the darkest song of the album as well. A simple one, but haunting. 10. "Do Me A Favor" - The lead single is heavy and catchy. I can see why they chose this as the first single. Great for read. Could serve as a great anthem for this generation. 11. "The Conflagration" - One of the best and my personal favorite. A very inspiring song and it has the best solo (kudos to Root and Rand). The chorus is magnificent and beautiful. The pianos are good too. Although, they could have avoided the ending (which later served as the opener for the next song). 12. "The House Of Gold & Bones" - The title track is very similar to another Stone Sour hit "Absolute Zero". Great drum works from Mayorga. A strong way to finish a spectacular album. It is nice to see how far Stone Sour has come now. There is not a bad song there. Although some of the ballad songs, even though it is complex, they could have tried to make it different from the other. But I'm not gonna complain. Stone Sour should come out from Corey Taylor and Jim Root's "side project" conception and should be able to stand on their own feet. We can only expect big things after this magnificent and beautiful album. And if you're wondering if this is worth your money? Hell yeah it is!