I should have probably done this review when I got the CD as I got it quite early but I’m too lazy. Here is my several days late review of Stone Sour’s latest concept album.
Gone Sovereign – One of the two tracks that the band first released and have also since released a music video for. A simple minimalistic introduction that ceases and kicks straight into a faster heavier riff section of a verse and chorus. The solos are classic Stone Sour if you’re familiar with them. If not you’ll be hearing a lot more like it. Jim’s relatively ‘non-shred’ guitar solo leads into Josh’s solo which have the ‘classic Stone Sour harmonies’ or at least what sounds like harmonies to me. A good strong introduction to the album. The song ends with the hook to the next song.
Absolute Zero – The second part of the previously released songs. The guitar riff coupled with the vocal line is really catchy and groovy. Chorus is very catchy which can be typical of a Stone Sour song. The main hooks is definitely a focal point of the piece. Corey’s vocals showcase his talent for being able to have a soft tone and then swap to a pounded bellow. Guitar solo is incredibly melodic and what you’d expect, both Josh and Jim have the ability to shred the guitar but don’t need to, though Josh seems to go ‘f*ck the sh*t’ out of his guitar more.
A Rumour of Skin – Some people may start the album here after already listening to the opening two. Still has the groove elements as the previous tracks but this one focuses more on the chorus hooks. Rhythms are pretty interesting and the middle section progresses really well through several changes. After this it comes back into the chorus which may be a bit… generic… But it works, and if it works put it in, it’ll be great to see the crowd respond to the build up and last chorus live.
The Travelers, Pt 1 – The first soft track and even opens with strings. Those who still want heavy/alternative metal don’t worry though, it’s only a two minute track. A break. It’s still a nice track though. Constructed with pretty simple chord work with a nice soft lead over the top. Includes strange ‘ambient’ noises, other people talking which I can only guess plays into the concept
Tired – The end of the previous track builds up into this one. The guitar lines coupled with strings make it more an orchestral piece than a rock song. It’s not over done in the sense some metal bands use strings for. “We need to take a new change… get strings”. This song makes the strings really work and makes what would be classed as a ballad much more epic. Stone Sour classic. I feel as thought they took a lot more time on this song than usual… I may be wrong though.
RU486 – I think this track was released as a single or on SoundCloud but I didn’t listen to it. It starts of with a voice telling you ‘information’ about this record, I’m sure there’s a reason for that but I can never prize open the story in a concept album. Back to the pounding metal and Corey’s vocals are more brutal than on the previous songs. There’s a chant in the chorus which I can easily imagine the crowd participating in. Chants throughout actually. Guitar solos are typical of Stone Sour… weird. The notes they pick are either just chromatics or part of some absurd scale.
My Name Is Allen – Another groove and riff laden track. Corey’s heavy vocals, the riffing guitar and clean guitar blend really well with each other in the verses. The rhythmic change in the middle is great, the song drops after this into a heavier section then builds back into the main section of the song. Catchy chorus. I hesitate to say but maybe one of the weaker tracks… I’m sure I’ll change my mind though, just at the minute I haven’t really got much to say about it.
Taciturn – A soft song again. I think they’ve broken up the album well with the soft songs. However this track is the longest on the album. This tracks quite nice but it’s nothing new. The guitar solos are interesting but as a track is been done before. Not that it’s a bad song, every band has a song like it. There’s plenty of emotion but it was sadly a bit predictable, I hate putting such a lovely song like this down. The end slowly leads into the next song
Influence Of A Drowsy God – The intro builds up into a nice flowing verse. Much more epic than the previous track and has a similar vibe to Tired. Showcases Corey’s vocals more with deeper growls and the rhythmic changes bring out the track more.
The Travelers, Pt 2 – A second part to a previous track in case you can’t work that out. The motifs are similar to that of Tired, which as it’s part of a concept album is understandable. Already has a very epic vibe several seconds in, especially when the rhythms become more structure. I think Pt 1 mixed with Tired is better than this track but this feels like a satisfying ending.
Last Of The Real – Very bass heavy. Incredibly up beat and catchy, great ending to the album. Or a great lead into HoGaB Pt 2 if you’d rather. Pretty quick track and seamlessly flies by.
New Listener = Gone Sovereign
Favourite track = Tired
Good to hear them again after a good few years. I prefer Stone Sour to Slipknot because I feel there’s much more melody. Slipknot are good for when I want to punch something but Stone Sour are good for all times. I don’t think it’s as good as Come What(ever) May or maybe even Audio Secrecy but it’s still a good album. There are not BAD tracks, there are less than great tracks. Sometimes though the guitar riffs and vocal lines are different it feels like it’s stuck in the same territory… don’t know.
Still a good album
Score = 8/10