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Stone Sour, ‘House of Gold & Bones Part 1’ – Album Review

Stone Sour
Roadrunner Records

Stone Sour singer Corey Taylor knew early on he wanted to do something special with their latest disc, and with ‘House of Gold & Bones Part 1,’ the band doesn’t disappoint. In fact, this dark tale of a person’s inner battles getting over a traumatic relationship break leaves us yearning for more (thankfully, there will be a ‘Part 2′).

The singer says of the disc, “It’s really a morality play. It’s about a person trying to find himself, or herself. You know, everyone in their lives finds themselves inevitably at a crossroads when it comes to a personal evolution and whatnot, trying to figure out what they want to do with the rest of their lives.” Much like a person trying to move on from a difficult split, ‘House of Gold & Bones Part 1′ plays like the emotions of that experience, spanning from bitter, vitriolic, and selfish to broken, mournful and depressive.

Listeners got their first introduction with the release of the double-single, ‘Gone Sovereign’ and ‘Absolute Zero.’ The two songs lead off the album and descriptively show where the title character is at their life — a splintered shell of themselves feeling that every legend has been shattered in ‘Gone Sovereign’ and that they’re so filled with hate that there’s nothing left to offer in ‘Absolute Zero.’ Both tracks are filled with hard-hitting guitars courtesy of Josh Rand and James Root and at times powerful and thunderous drumming from Roy Mayorga.

Rand recently stated, “‘House of Gold & Bones’ takes everything that’s great about this band and amplifies it. The riffs, the lyrics, the grooves and the songs are like Stone Sour times 10. There’s also heavy stuff that’s like nothing we’ve ever done before. It’s dark as hell and a complete experience from the first track to the last.”

Taylor vocally is hitting on all cylinders with this album. ‘A Rumor of Skin’ shows him delivering a deeper register; ‘RU486′ and ‘Last of the Real’ unleash a full blast of his aggression; and ‘Taciturn’ allows the listener to feel every ounce of emotion he’s pouring into the track.

Taciturn‘ received its live debut by Taylor earlier this year, with the singer primarily on acoustic guitar. While it can pass as a solo song live, on the album there’s some extra pieces as the track builds from an intimate and sorrowful song into something more epic and filled-out by the end with Taylor begging, “Give me a sign / Show me a light / Maybe tonight I’ll tell you everything.”

‘The Travelers, Pt. 1′ and ‘Tired’ also flow particularly well together in the middle of the record, with the string-backing coming to the forefront. ‘The Travelers, Pt. 1′ provides ‘A Day in the Life’-type conclusion to the title character’s downward spiral, while in ‘Tired,’ the strings pick up the pace and provide a building feel of the character’s increasing instability.

While we’re not sure how many singles ‘House of Gold & Bones Part 1′ may have, that’s not the point of the record. Stone Sour have provided the story of a character’s personal voyage and their inner dialogue that works as one album-length idea, and in that aspect they have definitely succeeded and left us anxious to see where the story continues in ‘House of Gold & Bones Part 2.’

4.5 Stars

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