Stone Sour fans across the world will be glad that it's time for them to get their grubby little paws on the fourth album, well half of it at least, as Part 1 of 'House Of Gold And Bones' is finally unleashed upon us.
Recording of the album started earlier this year and Corey Taylor said up front that it would end up being a double or concept album. In total there are 23 songs (the 24th got lost along the way) which Taylor has written as a linear storyline, to be complemented and expanded on by a four-part comic book in early 2013. The second album is due in May 2013 and there's a movie being discussed as well.
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Corey started the album by writing a short story, and guitarist Josh Rand gave a little background to the subject matter in a recent interview with Music Radar:
"The main character has to make these decisions that will affect the rest of his life. He's basically at a cross roads figuring out if he's ready to make changes to possibly better himself... or is he just willing to go with the flow."
Well that's something that I'd say 99% of us can relate to and hence why the words "sullen" and "disarray" feature in album opener 'Gone Sovereign'. But don't worry, there's nothing morose about this track and leaves you in no doubt that you're listening to Stone Sour. I love the way the end vocals turn into the opening riff of 'Absolute Zero' and connect the songs seamlessly into one, as you can see in this video:
Aside from these two tracks, the rest of the story is told through the typical construction of an album that you'd expect from the Des Moines outfit. 'A Rumour Of Skin', 'Tired', 'My Name Is Allan' and 'Influence Of A Drowsy God' are reflective of their Hard Rock style and very accessible, 'The Travelers pt 1' & 'pt 2' and 'Taciturn' are the ballads on the album, and 'RU 486' and 'Last Of The Real' remind you of Corey's Slipknot connection.
I have to admit to being sceptical when I heard this was going to be a 'concept' album, but thankfully it's a lyrical journey that unites the songs and reassures you that Stone Sour aren't straying too far away from what they do best. It's not the best of their releases and after the build up, I was expecting a little more. It does contain some great music however, and is worth buying in my opinion.
Hurry up May, I want to hear the rest of the story.