3   +   2   =  

house of gold and bonesReleased: 2012

For Stone Sour getting where they are now has not been a walk in the park. With vocalist Corey Taylor and axeman Jim Root having day jobs in Slipknot, the band have always operated under the shadow of the masked behemoth. As such the band have never been given the time to fulfil their ultimate potential. With album number four, House of Gold & Bones Part 1, the band may have just found their feet.

Their previous release, 2010’s superb Audio Secrecy certainly helped the band gain a bigger following outside of their maggots and long-time supporters, culminating in a joint headlining arena tour with Avenged Sevenfold and prestigious spots at Download festival and Rock in Rio.

Fast-forward to 2012 and after a lengthy bout of activity with Slipknot, Taylor and Root have returned to action with Stone Sour and served up part one of a two part album. The album kicks off in full attack with the double head-on collision of Gone Sovereign and Absolute Zero. A Rumor of Skin is probably the album’s catchiest tune, and should receive ample airplay on rock radio. Travellers Part 1 is one of the album’s more reflective moments, but doesn’t detract from the intensity of the band’s hardcore riffing found rife across the rest of the album.

What’s refreshing about this record is it puts the emphasis back on the big hook choruses missing from so much of today’s heavy metal while not detracting from the big riffs and pounding drum beats metal-heads love so much. Other highlights of the album include guitarists Jim Root and Josh Rand stellar solos on RU486 and Corey Taylor’s scorching vocal performances, most notably on Taciturn.

The comparisons to Slipknot are inevitable, but the truth is Stone Sour is much more melodic than the former. Indeed, with Stone Sour Taylor and Root have lost all the gimmicks which made Slipknot a love or hate affair, and put the emphasis back into the music.

The band are fast becoming one of the hottest commercial metal bands around today and will appeal to fans of Nickelback, Foo Fighters and Muse who perhaps haven’t taken the time to study a little further into the heavy metal genre. With part two already recorded and set for release in early 2013, this pair of albums may just see Stone Sour hit the big time, and the band should consider whether this should be a side project any longer. With songs this good, and a fan base which gets bigger by the day, Stone Sour could be huge.

★★★★

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