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Album Review: Stone Sour – ‘House of Gold and Bones Part 2’ (2013)

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Release Date: April 9, 2013

Label: Roadrunner Records

Earlier today, Stone Sour streamed the sequel to their chart-topping album “House of Gold and Bones Part 1” (2012). Though “House of Gold and Bones Part 2” won’t officially be released in the States until next week, I am reviewing it now.

It’s been a long time since I’ve listened to an album that has genuinely kept me entertained the whole way through. When I heard HOGAB Pt. 2, I didn’t find myself looking back at the track list every so often, wondering, “Just how many songs are there left?” It is a fantastic album and fitting sequel to Part 1 with its schizophrenic time and style changes, sometimes during single songs.

HOGAB is singer Corey Taylor’s brainchild–two concept albums and a 4-part comic book miniseries about temptation and vice. The music itself is a representation of the conflicts the protagonist, Human, endures. It brings the lyrics to life, and the theme continues through Part 2.

Part 2 starts off with a melancholy piano ballad, “Red City”. It is quite the departure from “Last of the Real,” the final track of Part 1. But during the second track, “Black John,” thrashing drums kick in, signalling the alternative metal tour de force that is the rest of the album. “Sadist” is a slower, groove metal-esque number with chromatic riffs akin to Ozzy’s “Diary of a Madman”.”Peckinpah” is another grooving number, but the next song, “Stalemate,” is one of the highlights of HOGAB 2.

“Stalemate” starts off as an acoustic ballad with piano flourishes, and one assumes that it will be similar to the first track. But suddenly the electric guitars and drums kick in and you wonder what the hell just hit you. You just got your ass kicked and now your neck is broken from headbanging so much. Then there’s a key change to throw you another curveball.

In addition to hard rocking tracks like “’82,” “Do Me A Favor” and “House of Gold and Bones,” HOGAB 2 has its share of powerful ballads. While still heavy, “The Uncanny Valley” and “The Configuration” would do well in mainstream or crossover charts. “The Configuration” reminds me why 80s metal power ballads so great (Skid Row bassist Rachel Bolan, who contributed to this album, should know). It would be wise for Stone Sour to release it as a single.

This album showcases why Stone Sour is so great. The lyrics are very relatable, telling tales of adversity, self-doubt and self-empowerment. They actively troll their listeners with their musical epicness and make you go, “what the hell just happened?” You’re not sure what hit you, but it is well worth the bruise you’re left with.

Track Listing:

  1. Red City
  2. Black John
  3. Sadist
  4. Peckinpah
  5. Stalemate
  6. Gravesend
  7. ’82
  8. The Uncanny Valley
  9. Blue Smoke
  10. Do Me A Favor
  11. The Configuration
  12. House of Gold and Bones

Lineup:

Corey Taylor – vocals

James Root – guitar

Josh Rand – guitar

Roy Moyarga – drums

Rachel Bolan – bass

CORRECTION (4/6/13): Human is the protagonist of the story, not Allen.

 

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5 responses

  1. Kleo

    Good review, but you got an important fact wrong; the protagonist is NOT Allen, but the Human. There are 4 characters in Corey’s story: the Human (protagonist), Allen, Peckinpah, Black John plus the Numbers who are represented as the zombies in the Do Me a Favor music video.

    April 6, 2013 at 10:10 am

    • Thanks. I’ll be sure to make a correction later.

      April 6, 2013 at 10:25 am

  2. Pingback: April’s Most Anticipated Albums – Device, Rob Zombie, Volbeat and More | The Blog of Shredding

  3. Reblogged this on Alec Damiano.

    April 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm

  4. Pingback: SKID ROW’s Rachel Bolan Talks to The Blaze 1330 AM | The Blog of Shredding

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