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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Stone Sour - House of Gold & Bones Part 2 review

Year : 2013
Genre :Alternative Metal with Radio Rock leanings
Label : Roadrunner Records
Origin : United States
Rating : 6.0 / 10

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Stone Sour emerges to declare the culmination of their - logically - previous effort, completing this body of - hopefully - ruthlessly defined modal doom with the informatively titled House of Gold & Bones Part 2 full length. Frontman Corey Taylor horizonted a more darker tone this time around, and so we shall inspect the statement on a per track basis in an attempt to determine if this culmination indeed is composed of flammable angry-gargoyle melodic spirit-tar. Still here? You must be desperate! Let's be honest here folks, Stone Sour is best when it is angry and dark, and it sounds like Aerosmith radiometal - I got nothing against that genre, just please bitchslap yourself if you are into it - when it seeks to go radio friendly. I invite you to this per track-review into the current psyche variant of the Corey Taylor! 

"Red City"

Red City is a Depeche Mode song, I swear on the hide of God & Satan! A rather solid Depeche Mode song, as well. This opening track, luckily, evidentiates a still-present willingness to suffer legendarily in the infinite contexts of moods - art is the place to suffer in. Instead of the monumental synths the Depeche Mode members would probably rely on, Stone Sour employs wall of sound guitar structures, delivering a definitely doomesque/doomish sonic assault of delicately detailed evil splendor, while the Corey Taylor fortunately maintains high profile melodic singing of ballsy/bitter calibration - you can tell that a row of trucks just ran over on his spiritual disposition, and this indeed is the emotional setting to write and build a doomesque song from. An exquisitely promising opening, that INDEED concentrates on the darker tints of the Stone Sour ethos - a pessimistic delivery, no doubt, but art similarly is the place to be pessimistic in, so you don't have to be a fucking douché on a mission in your real life - or, in your excuse for that.

"Black John"

An acceptable chorus, but a rather sweat-reeking/saggy-skin verse structure makes the listener afraid of the rampant/evident auto/motor sports themed pinball machine vibe observable throughout - minus the chorus, that redeems something. No matter how angry Corey pretends to be on the top, - I don't believe a fucking word he is singing in this shitty verse, and neither does he, I'm afraid, regardless of the lines that seek your sympathy with self-contgatulatory pseudo-cunning -"just give the lunatic a chance!" [why? if he is any good, he will demand the chance himself without me lapping his back, so stop empathizing with your own current hypocrisy, Corey] - the effect of the verse starts out on "uhuh", and runs pretty much out of gas at its anti-culmination. Granted, the chorus is somewhat of a redemption, but it arrives to the unacceptably shallow pinball machine metal verse structure once again, with which the band assumes you to be an angsty teenager wearing a skeleton mask. I find nothing wrong with that, mind you. Here is a song for you, my love.


Interestingly, Stone Sour ventures into the fields of melodic quasi-doom metal in the verse structure, and brings forth a chorus that manages to show promise, then they take it to a fucking "Winds of Change" direction, - Scorpions, 1888 - and I puke my astral body out, but they shovel it back into me. Oh well. Pretty sweat reeking song, too, but, I suppose the verse is acceptable. (If you listen to it only once.) Interesting modulation at the end of the verse, but, this also marks the most interesting part of the whole build - yet the effect of the modulation lasts only for 5 secs or so. Still it is better than the entirety of the initial anatomy revealed. Well, what do I mean by "initial build"? The track desperately switches to a more restless vibe at its climax to give you some bars of alibi-grade Malmsteen metal, - the top form of Malmsteen metal kicks your ass to hell and back - then it arrives back to its original methods of conduct. Pretty "meh" song to me, currently.


The film director? Dunno, really. A solid intro and a nice verse in which keen inventiveness is exhibited towards an elegant arpeggio of infectious menace, is observable - then the song consorts to the classic and frankly, great Stone Sour compositional tactic of verse/pre/chorus. The chorus is pretty decent, as well. This song is definite highlight, and I'm content with it.


Oh GOD! The verse of the track is so desperate to mimic Metallica's great entry "Aint't My Bitch", - listen in at 0:44, it is hilarious - that the song betrays itself, when Corey starts to sing "Out of my way, out of my..." of his whoknowswhat, but the point is, that by the time, the "verysimilaritude" is definitely there. What about the chorus? Unfortunately, the chorus is tired like Nina Hartley after a congregation. It is a hair metal ballad. And yes, I can hear that Corey Taylor realized how nicely the sung ending note of the motive fits to the harmonic backdrop - this is the favorite note of Kurt Cobain, see - > "Rape Me". Feel the irony, Corey? The band delivers unprecedented amount of desperation via modulating the chorus theme at the climax. This only was expected from direct to radio rock bands, in my opinion, and hearing it from Stone Sour really surprised me, and not in a pleasant manner. Oh what the hell. It is not "Stalemate" though. It is "Decline".


Qwertzuioplkjhgfdsayxcvb!! Stone Sour subliminally rehashes one of their very best songs, "Made of Scars". Listen to the anatomy of the chorus! There isn't anything else MUCH to listen to, anyway. Granted, the lyrics are witty at times - "special effects for common loss" for example - yet I am not convinced nor of the verse, nor of the pre. As noted, the chorus itself is totally "I am made of Scars", only, Corey is not only made of scars now, but he is like "A devil on the road", too. It was obvious all along, Corey. But thanks for letting me know. The death metal vocals in the song do not do a sear thing to me, I must say. It is not like I enjoy writing this, I want the record to be badass, too. Way too much effect and fuckaroundery on the death metal vocals. Corey Taylor has the throat of two fucking Godzillas, so I don't know why the insecurity is for.


A delightful, and decent glam metal song, a glimmer on the light hearted side of Stone Sour, WHEN they on the top of their game. At this point, I consider this album mediocre AT BEST, yet, if I'd experience at least THIS level of honesty and invention that I'm picking up in this particular track, I'd have no fury to deliver. The track is free spirited - according to Stone Sour standards, of course - it finds logical and non-desperate harmonic structures, and .... oh my fucking god, they just fucked it up at 2:57 - > another modulation. When you employ modulations in a panicked manner fueled by an attempt to make your idea of music more interesting, you are either playing in a retirement home, or, you should be. Stone Sour simply is way better than this, when they have content to deliver.

"The Uncanny Valley"

A self-congratulatory song, in which Stone Sour showcases considerable talent at escaping the logical need to deliver - something. They collide a nicely done, morose guitar riff with gigantic harmonics, yet the so called "lie" lies in the verse. Glam metal boutique music. The chorus currently is "meh" to me, and right now I can't imagine how it could escape from this sub-optimum limbo.

"Blue Smoke"

This entry is of a deep ambient quality, and it is quite nicely done. Corey Taylor reflects on Corey Taylor, which is just natural for Corey Taylor listeners. The song is decently done, boasts nice modulations, and conveys a successfully revealed Blade Runner vibe. It is highly unfortunate that the song deliberately flows/turns into the deepest spot found on the release, which - logically - is the very next song :

"Do Me a Favor"

This song, frankly, is embarrassing, if and when you listen it WITHOUT its quasi-intro, "Blue Smoke". But even if you harvest the full interconnected experience, the stimulus sounds incomprehensibly desperate and insecure via its chorus. It reminds me of the hair metal I have always escaped from. Check out this chorus, oh my god, the level of lying on display in it, is hilarious. It is very evident that they did not have a thing to say, and Stone Sour managed to take Dave Mustaine's Inspector Gadget cabaret cartoon thrash metal terror to its anti-grandiose next level. I mean, fuck me sideways, this song is very bad. But it gets better! As result of a relentless urge to overcompensate in dramatic and desperate fashion, Stone Sour makes itself even more staggeringly embarrassing in this entry. Notice this track, "Do Me a Favor" from 3:00 - > the exact verbatim structure is observable which the band has utilized as a chorus on the track "A Rumor of Skin" on the previous record. It is insulting, to be honest, to make the audience listen to this motive once again, thank you, we already had this transmission. I don't want to be bigger of a troll though than you might already assume me to be, totally falsely, I assure you. My heart is gold and butter, and I like Stone Sour very much. I find them superb when they are angry or beautiful or both. But they can't lie to me and get away with it. As result of this, I'm not angry if they make a mediocre album. I'm just going to say it. But, in my world, the very circumstance that I just pointed out to you - meaning : they used rehashed ideas on this disc - signifies that this LP has a very steep chance of emerging as a mediocre record at best.

"The Congregation"

With track 11, "The Congregation", Stone Sour gives you their alcohol worship hard rock ballad, a version of November Rain glam rock. Very 1990s, minus the guitar solo, as, in this department, Slash probably will remain untouchable for a millenia or two, courtesy of the cinematic connotations in the clip, too - but Slash's November Rain solo is totally badass from a musical point of view, too. A safe decision that the soloist in this track did not even sought to dethrone Slash. Why not though? The worst you could have happen to you, is to fail. This song, the inclusion of it, it isn't a bad thing, it just a self congratulatory routine song for the radio stations. This is the song that makes your aunt wet, secretly. Listen to this chorus. So subservient to make your aunt and your mom horny, it is very embarrassing. I do not even want to know. A rather predictable, and, as said, subservient track that disappoints me to no end until it ends. I give it to Stone Sour that at least they have laid down hints of their open desire to rip off "November Rain" - the dramatic quasi-military percussion, the modulations, the orchestra : listen to this alibi song from 3:45 to the culmination of the given motive. Geez, so embarrassing! Total and complete "November Rain" ripoff, to be honest. Corey, GTFO with this, I'm begging you.

"The House of Gold & Bones"

It is not a criticism, but a very similar opening to that of the intro section of the first album is observable. But, hell, the impertinent, hilarious similarities continue to persist, as if Stone Sour would seek to make multiple songs of the exact same fucking ideas. Am I the only one with ears or what the fuck! Rampant Melodic Similarities : the first few moments of the chorus of "House of Gold & Bones" is a verbatim-, although quite decent replica of "Absolute Zero",  featured on the previous House of Gold & Bones LP. The similarity level is evident and blatant, and, if you don't hear it, then I don't know what to tell you, but it would not even matter, I suppose, if you catch my drift.

Unfortunately, I'm less than impressed with the record, but I still claim that I like Stone Sour very much. This record though, when witnessed from a strictly scientific point of view, exhibits rabid tendencies to rehash ideas that already have been used by the band, see exact examples above. The whole album is dangerously close to be "meh". I'm not a nostalgic person, in fact, I passionately despise nostalgia as a very low value and self centered activity, - been doing this since 1662, ooooh, good times!! - so I assure you that it is not nostalgia that drives me to say that it still Stone Sour's self titled, first album is the one that kicks the most gargantuan shapes and forms of butts, in my opinion. It was a week ago that I have re-checked their 2002 record, and MAN, it is a superb disc! I do not of course expect Stone Sour to make any other music than what they enjoy to make, but this record, I think, is not really music they enjoyed making all the way through - to me, it comes across as ideas to get thoroughly expressed AND get freed up of. This still does not make it elegant to use up the same musical ideas and motives multiple times, see above. After 2002, the consequent Stone Sour efforts, while they have definite highlights, are only copies and shades of the past peaking of the band, that which I consider to be in the early 2000s. "Mission Statement" from 2010's "Audio Secrecy" is one of my favorite songs ever, as the chorus really manages to reveal a perennial anger and discontent with the present state of affairs, and often I have a feeling that they seek to express this very same feeling, but sometimes they have a supremely hard fucking time with it, but they offer the results anyway. Why, oh why? I am especially disappointed with the fact that though Corey suggested a return to the more darker routes, the album isn't REALLY dark, and sometimes it's just tepid and musically supra-trite, see examples in the per track review body. The majority of the songs are courtings to radio stations, if anything. I have nothing against that, but why delude the Stone Sour audience into false expectations? A mediocre Stone Sour record, in my opinion. If you, as a reader of this review, must bring the flame, then do so, but know that I'm with you, and I wanted the album to be good, too. I'm not angry that it is mediocre .Stone Sour has a right to make a mediocre record. Once. And this is it.

Rating : 6.0 / 10

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