Released: Apr 9, 2013 Genre: Alternative Metal, Post-Grunge, Alternative Rock, Hard Rock Label: Roadrunner Number Of Tracks: 12 Another gem of an album by Stone Sour, the band's fifth studio release does not disappoint. From ambient creepiness to heavy riffing, you'll find it all on this album.
House Of Gold & Bones - Part 2Featured review by: UG Team, on april 10, 2013 5 of 7 people found this review helpful
Sound: With the review of Stone Sour's previous release I had noted the history of the band, being the actual precursor to Slipknot, with Corey Taylor and Jim Root having been members before they ever joined Slipknot. Since 2002 when they re-joined the band it has really taken on a life of its own and the sound has developed and grown into what it is today. Since the release of "Part 1" of "House Of Gold & Bones" the band has found a replacement for bassist Shawn Economaki in Johny Chow. Rachel Bolan still handled the bass parts for the album, I'm guessing because Johny Chow hasn't yet had time to learn the songs or Rachel had already tracked the bass parts for the album by the time Johny Chow came aboard. This is the second part of the double concept album "House Of Gold & Bones", with an accompany comic to be released soon. The album has 12 tracks and clocks in at just over 50 minutes. The accompanying comic series will have the release of the first issue by Dark Horse Comics in just a few short days on April 17th. The first single from the album, "Do Me A Favor" was released on Stone Sour's YouTube channel on February 8th and was released digitally on February 12th. On March 29th, the track "Gravesend" was premiered on Rolling Stone Magazine's website as the second single from the album.
The second installment of "House Of Gold & Bones" finds the band stretching their musical muscles a little bit more than on the first part. Josh Rand and Jim Root trade off on some great guitar work, while Corey Taylor provides piano on a few tracks in addition to vocal duties. Roy Mayorga handles drums as well as synthesizers and piano on several tracks. Rachel Bolan from Skid Row filled in on bass again on the album, so the first listen to the new bassist, Johny Chow, will be in live performances. In addition there are guest musicians credited for cello, violin and viola for the track "The Conflagaration". There are the expected heavier tracks, ranging from hard rock to alt. Metal, but also there are some more "ballad" type tracks, most notably the track "The Conflagaration". Playing "Part 1" and "Part 2" in succession, you can absolutely hear a large amount of cohesiveness you would expect to hear in a concept album. The guitar solos on the album were masterfully completed, just as you would expect from Jim Root and Josh Rand. Overall I'm finding the first and second installments of this album about equal in my esteem. The biggest difference between the two would be more usage of creepy ambient passages in "Part 2". // 9
Lyrics: Corey Taylor always provides a stellar vocal performance, and this album is no exception. In addition, there are four guest vocalists credited under code names: Stubs, Lady, Truck and Sinner. Corey's vocal delivery on the album ranges from a melancholy and melodic performance on tracks such as "Red City", to a much heavier half-screamed vocal such as on parts of "Black John". In a word, his vocal delivery could be described as dynamic, providing exactly what the song needs at any given time.
The lyrics from the album are exceptional, moving along the story of the concept album and makes me eager to get my hands on the comic. As a sample of some of the lyrics, from the track "Do Me A Favor": "I am an anti everything man/ a scab on the lips of the lord/ my caustic dismissal/ is all I need to get you/ to fall on your sword." Or from the opening track "Red City": "Until the pages of this book are filled with emptiness/ I'm still suspended by a thread/ expecting nothing less/ I feel my kindred little ways/ I know how my story ends/ Like me... / It's not your gift to choose/ I know you're going to lose/ Like me... / The futile circumstance/ you never head a chance/ Like me..." And then from the title track: "Oh this is what it's coming to/ Another water loo/ you wanna put me underground/ cause I'm overused/ giving up that you're pulling me down/ I will make you come unglued." The lyrics do a great job of creating an atmosphere to capture your imagination. // 8
Overall Impression: I've really found a lot of things to enjoy about this album. My favorite song on the album is "Sadist", based on the opening bass riff and then shortly in the song when the quirky arpeggiated guitar riff comes in. Next in my list of favorite tracks would have to be "Black John", "Red City" and "Gravesend". There is a quirky quality to several of the melodies and rhythms in the album that really pull my ears' attention. At this point I'm just really excited to check out the comic when it comes out, especially as the story was written by Corey Taylor. I can't wait to see what Stone Sour does next. // 9
House Of Gold & Bones - Part 2
Aryan Death Man, on april 19, 2013 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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". // 9
Lyrics: 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. // 8
Overall Impression: 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! // 9