1. Red City
2. Black John
6. Grave Send
8. The Uncanny Valley
9. Blue Smoke
10. Do Me A Favor
11. The Conflagration
12. The House of Gold and Bones
For those of you familiar with the rock scene, Stone Sour needs no introduction for you. Masterminded by Corey Taylor and Jim Root of Slipknot and brought together by Roy Mayorga, Josh Rand and Shawn Econamaki, they are a band who crawled into the hearts of millions from the start. With their first release Stone Sour, you saw the depressing and moving anthem “Bother” which many still listen to and sing today. Their latest release, House of Gold and Bones, Part One tells quite a tale, which will all become apparent once the comic book is released shortly after House of Gold and Bones, Part Two. From the beginning, the story is captivating but, for the moment, let’s get into the music. Part Two is the absolute epitome of everything that Stone Sour has worked so hard for. It shows musical and lyrical maturity like no other. It’s experimental, dark, heavy, and melodic all at the same time. The first single from the album, “Do Me A Favor” will have you singing and screaming along long after you thought you forgot about it. A heavy, driving example of the complete madness that Corey and the rest of SS have brought us in the past is evident in the 2nd track released, “Grave Send”. Are you sold yet? Well if not, I give you the rest of my review to hopefully either make or break your sale.
The album opens with a track called “Red City” which is an extremely haunting, piano-driven track that will chill you to the bone. As if that isn’t enough, the track picks up and Corey is screaming by the end of it, right about when the chills have finally worn off. It’s an epic example of the ability that Taylor has to completely capture your attention.
An eerie background track plays and we jump into “Black John”. This track is a bit heavier than the last one, but definitely not the heaviest on the album. “All I know is heroes come and villains go, just give the lunatic a chance” This track seems to be about finding the good in anything bad. I would love to have more of a back story on this album, but sadly, the comic hasn’t come out yet so I’m going by ear.
Starting off slow with a bass line, we fall into “Sadist” which is a bit slower than the previous tracks….or so you think… Once you think you have this track figured out, Corey belts out and the track jumps into a heavy, gritty guitar riff. This track seems to be one of the sadder on the album. The track slows down again, but this time we add acoustic guitar and drums. This track definitely shows how good the band works with experimentation. Corey’s vocals get very eerie in the pre-chorus and the lyrics to this one are quite powerful.
“Sadist” ends and we’re brought into our next track, “Peckinpah”. This track is a very percussion/piano-driven track in the beginning. It gets a lot heavier about a minute in and Taylor belts out those heavy gritty vocals we all know and love. Definitely can be construed as one of the heaviest tracks on the album, in parts.
The heavy guitars end and we are led to the next track, “Stalemate”, which, at first may seem like a soft track. Wrong! As they do so well, Stone Sour have fooled us again. This track is heavy in some parts, but melodic in most of it. That’s the beauty of this band, you can take a heavy track, throw some melodic vocals and a few screams on top of it, and you will still have an incredibly driving and powerful track that seems heavy at the surface, but is really just another rock anthem.
Extremely fast drum-beats cease and out comes “Grave Send” which is arguably the heaviest track on the album. It was the 2nd track that the band gave us the pleasure of hearing in full and is still one of my favorites, even after hearing the album in it’s entirety. I wouldn’t necessarily call it the heaviest track, but it definitely has it’s place in the heaviest that they’ve written. Again, on the surface, it really doesn’t seem that heavy, but once you get a little further in, you will start to feel how heavy it truly is.
The epic that is “Grave Send” ends and we’re led into ” ’82 ” which starts off with an electronic type intro and some amazing guitar work. Lyrically, I think this track is one of the most powerful. I also think it ties extremely close to something that happened in Corey’s life or someone he know/knew. This is one of the tracks that will have you singing along and really feeling the power in it. Really look deep into the lyrics and you will see what I’m talking about.
” ’82 ” stops and it brings us to the next track, “The Uncanny Valley” which is another slower track, in the beginning. Are we starting to see a pattern here yet? Only difference with this track is that it gets a bit more driving, but not much heavier. It’s another track that will have you singing along and I could definitely see some people possibly dancing to this as well. But lyrically, this track seems to have a very dark meaning.
The acoustic guitars are done being strummed, so as to bring us to the next track. The next one is called “Blue Smoke” and it’s an interlude track, but it doesn’t take away from the power and the overall completeness this album has. It’s slow, piano-driven and eerie with Corey’s vocals having a slight electronic tone to them. It continues the story from the first track on the album. Then it all stops and “Do Me A Favor” starts.
“Do Me A Favor” is still my absolute favorite track on the album, musically, lyrically and emotionally. If you haven’t listened to it yet, definitely go check it out. The emotion you will feel once you see the lyrics and even the video is almost overwhelming. This track, to me, seems to be about deceiving yourself and being deceived and losing your mind. As we all know, Taylor is not religious by any means. The lyrics “Do me a favor. Your behavior is just a reason why there is no savior!” Should not be surprising by those of you who know his lyrical content from the past and so far in the album. This track is about exposing the hypocrites for what they really are and standing up against them.
Pianos come in, accompanied by the faint drum-beat you hear in the end of the last track and “The Conflagration” starts. This is easily the slowest track on the album and by extension, the most powerful. You definitely want to listen to and absorb the lyrics on this one. There’s not much to say about this track except that it is incredible how emotional it can make you feel.
The final track “The House of Gold and Bones” reprises quite a few parts from the first part of this epic story, House of Gold and Bones, Part One. First, you hear “RU486” chanted repeatedly which was an incredibly heavy and powerful track on the album. Now this track, at first, may seem really heavy, but is it really? It definitely is, the illusion that we’ve come to know so far in this album has ended and we see the heavy side of SS again. This track is about the house that this double album centers around. Listen for the reprises to the 1st part. Now, feel accomplished because you’ve come to the end of the album. But, if you’re like me, you still want more! I, for one, honestly can not wait to hear what the band has in store next!
House of Gold and Bones, Part Two is definitely among my favorite Stone Sour albums. It builds from part 1 and just keeps on giving. While part 1 was fairly upbeat for the most part, part 2 is full of angst, darkness and aggression. I definitely recommend everyone going to buy this incredible album. Not only part 2 but part 1 as well, because you will see how well they go together. If you thought you had Stone Sour figured out, be prepared to be blown away by this mind-blowing double album! Go pick up your copy of House of Gold and Bones, Part 1 which was released back in October & House of Gold and Bones, Part 2 which will be released April 9th on Roadrunner Records and find yourself immersed in the story of The House of Gold and Bones!