Stone Sour consists of Corey Taylor (lead vocals, guitar, piano) and Jim Root (guitar, keyboard) from Slipknot, Josh Rand (guitar) and Roy Mayorga (drums, percussion). Rachel Bolan (Skid Row) fills in for bass duties on this release.
For whatever it is worth, I am not a fan of Slipknot, but can appreciate Stone Sour. I was a little leery of House of Gold and Bones – Part 1 simply because Stone Sour has been hit or miss with me. I was a huge fan of Come What(ever) May, but found Audio Secrecy to be marginable at best.
House of Gold and Bones – Part 1 follows a storyline of a man at a psychological, emotional and spiritual crossroads. Its depth is inescapable and its story is utterly enthralling if you follow the lyrics closely. The mixture of tracks is particularly commendable as we weave in and out of anthemic rock tracks to heartfelt ballads with ease.
The album opens with Gone Sovereign, which opens rather innocently with a guitar and vocal introduction. As you listen to the buildup, you get yourself ready for what is to come, which turns into one hell of a song with its punk overtones and frenetic pace. Jim Root and Josh Rand blaze through solid solo work, which is something that the track really needed.
Gone Sovereign leads directly into Absolute Zero, which is a more typical sounding Stone Sour song with the vocal melody. Again, we are introduced to more solid solo work.
A Rumor of Skin has Corey Taylor singing at a deeper register and he pulls it off just fine. People seem to forget that Taylor is one talented individual with an exceptional voice. With A Rumor of Skin, Stone Sour moves into a darker tone while still retaining a similar feeling to the album.
The Travelers, Pt. 1 is a snapshot of the main character at this point in time and we are watching them slide into that downward spiral with Tired being the conclusion this snapshot in time where the character starts to unravel a little more. Tired is a very powerful song with strong vocals and epic moments.
RU486 opens with a crushing riffs that persists throughout this angry track, which rolls into My Name is Allen – another revealing song.
Taciturn is a calming track that has its share of beautiful elements, which is the antithesis of Influence of a Drowsy God which brings the pain and features more great lead guitar work, which is followed by The Travelers, Pt. 2.
My favorite track on the album is the closing track, Last of the Real. It is epic on so many levels from the lyrics to the vocal melody to the music itself all work together. It is one of those hard rocking Stone Sour songs injected with anger.
Overall, House of Gold and Bones – Part 1 is a nice return to form for Stone Sour, but most disagree with me and feel that they never left.
House of Gold and Bones – Part 1 Track Listing:
1. Gone Sovereign
2. Absolute Zero
3. A Rumor of Skin
4. The Travelers, Pt. 1
7. My Name Is Allen
9. Influence of a Drowsy God
10. The Travelers, Pt. 2
11. Last of the Real