Stone Sour "House of Gold & Bones – Part 2" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Mon, 25 Mar 2013 07:37:02
Stone Sour strike gold on House of Gold & Bones, Pt. 2.
The second half of their ambitious double concept album closes out the narrative with an incendiary conclusion—and the best music of the band's career to date. In a stroke of genius, not only do they tell a universally identifiable story of a man at life's crossroads, but they also get more intimate than ever before. This is as close to Stone Sour as you'll ever be, and you'll feel that wonderful fire forever.
A somber piano melody entwines with singer Corey Taylor's unmistakable voice on the grandiose opener "Red City". The piano climbs as his voice rises over a haunting soundscape. That voice has never sounded so viciously transcendent as it does here. The track itself possesses the kind of eerie elegance Nine Inch Nails bathed in on The Fragile, but it's wholly Stone Sour. An AM radio warble kicks into the swaggering James Root and Josh Rand riff-a-thon that is "Black John". Roy Mayorga holds down a potent, yet funky percussive groove, while Rachel Bolan's bass reverberates through the maelstrom. "Sadist" slows things down to a calculated crawl that once again puts the spotlight back on Taylor's pipes and poetic lyrics.
"Peckinpah" blasts with a growl and gutter guitar stomp that'd make its namesake proud, and Stone Sour emerge from the hail of sonic bullets as their own kind of Wild Bunch. "Stalemate" has got the kind of melody that the band's biggest hits were made of, but there's a propulsive kick as well as the six-string fireworks take over. A tribal beat pulsates underneath "Gravesend" before spiraling into another brutally battering bridge. "I was only eighteen when I finally let go," Taylor admits as the band's chug mounts into a wall of distortion.
Meanwhile, "'82" rises from a slinky bass line into airy guitars as Taylor's story opens up further. He goes on, "I'm never alone. I'm always in the middle to talking to myself". The paranoia proves undeniably potent and beautifully painful. The acoustic guitars at the beginning of "The Uncanny Valley" evoke something between Alice In Chains and Radiohead as the track slips into a cavernous musing. The two-minute plus "Blue Smoke" segues right into the first single "Do Me a Favor", while "The Conflagration" burns with big, big melodies.
Everything culminates upon "House of Gold and Bones". A chant of "RU486" ominously mounts like a devilish choir before Root and Rand storm the gates with a full riff blitz. Mayorga's drums buoy a powerful bass line. "I've got to do it alone," Taylor screams. "I will burn alive in the House of Gold and Bones".
Stone Sour have risen to become one of the most important and incomparable bands in modern rock 'n' roll. House of Gold & Bones, Pt. 2 is an epic for the ages and one of the greatest rock records of all-time. Get ready to live with it forever.
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