Stone Sour – House of Gold & Bones Part 1
by Noah Kauffman (Journalism), published November 6th 2012
Moldy | Stale | Edible | Fresh | Tasty!
Corey Taylor is undoubtedly one of the most interesting figures in rock music, as the singer of Slipknot, vocalist and songwriter for Stone Sour, and a budding comic book author. Taylor’s musical career has centered on his ability to combine rock and metal. Stone Sour’s new album, House of Gold & Bones Part 1, is Taylor’s masterpiece of rock and metal collaboration. The first half of a double concept album (Part 2 is due out early in 2013), Stone Sour’s new record merges ballads, rock anthems, concept songs, and heavy metal head crunchers, satisfying any rock enthusiast’s tastes. Taylor’s songwriting seems to be influenced by Stone Sour’s 2010 album, Audio Secrecy, and Slipknot-inspired heaviness. His screamed vocals will remind listeners of the best of Slipknot, while still maintaining the softer rock side that characterizes Taylor’s newer Stone Sour music.
Slipknot is focused on pounding, mind-numbing percussion, and while Roy Mayorga provides more than adequate drum work, James Root and Josh Rand’s shredding guitars, especially on songs “Gone Sovereign” and “Absolute Zero,” are a defining characteristic of the album. This is Taylor’s band, though, and his songwriting skills, especially lyrically, have made great strides since Stone Sour’s first self-titled album, back in 2002.
Taylor has described the album as a combination of Pink Floyd’s The Wall and Alice in Chains’ Dirt. While the genre of music is far from psychedelic classic rock or grunge, he does have a point, as the album showcases some of the uncommon musical sounds that characterizes The Wall, and at times has a hauntingly beautiful style reminiscent of Dirt (“Tired”).
Being a concept story, the album itself features half of a short story written by Taylor (presumably the second half will be included in House of Gold & Bones Part 2), offering an account of Taylor falling into a parallel universe, fleeing “The Travelers” (who are looking for RU486, on the track of the same name), with the aid of Taylor’s doppelganger, named Allen. The songs begin this story, in part, with the second record and Taylor’s upcoming comic series telling the rest.
If you are a fan of Slipknot or Slayer, or heavy metal in general, make sure to check out House of Gold & Bones Part 1, as Corey Taylor emphasizes his roots as a metal vocalist. But modern hard rock fans and classic hard rock enthusiasts will enjoy Stone Sour’s album as well, especially less in-your-face songs like “Taciturn,” “Influence of a Drowsy God,” and “Tired.” House of Gold & Bones Part 1 will not make “Maggots” forget about Slipknot; nor will it amaze mainstream rockers. However, Taylor finds a way to satisfy both, and all in between, with a remarkably broad-ranging record.
Recommended Tracks: Gone Sovereign, Taciturn, Tired, A Rumor of Skin