By: Haley Holmes
When Corey Taylor, vocalist of both Slipknot and Stone Sour, announced that Stone Sour would be completing a concept album, much of the music world held its breath. Most concept albums are a great disaster, much less ones that take on as much as this one. A double album surrounding a story created by Taylor himself, it seemed like Stone Sour might have taken on more than they could handle. However, Corey Taylor does it again with the epic conclusion to this concept endeavor: House of Gold and Bones Part 2.
Opening on a soft note, with clean vocals over a quiet piano, the first track “Red City” is the calm before the storm. The slow intro leads smoothly into the hard hitting track “Black John” as the story unfolds. It is clear that Taylor’s lyrics are concentrated far more on the story than they were for H.o.G.a.B Part 1, and it just serves to strengthen the quality of Part 2.
Running strong from track to track, the album shifts from melodic to heavy at appropriate intervals before going into the recent single, “Gravesend”. Once again giving fans a taste of Taylor’s signature aggression, “Gravesend” is definitely the better of the two singles released. The first single off the album, already with two music videos to its name, “Do Me A Favor” is more upbeat than the rest of the record. With mostly clean vocals, the track also serves to paint a clear picture of the “anti-everything man” that the House of Gold and Bones story deals with. Truly this record serves as more of a story than just a record.
Overall, House of Gold and Bones Part 2 (which dropped April 9) is probably the best Stone Sour record released to date, surpassing its predecessor both in complexity and in delivery. Though both discs should be heard back to back, to gain insight into the full story, Part 2 is fully capable as standing alone as one of the best albums released in 2013 so far.
The full album is streaming now on the Stone Sour website: http://www.stonesour.com/albumstream