STONE SOUR – ‘House Of Gold & Bones Pt 2’

stonesourSTONE SOUR – ‘House Of Gold & Bones Pt 2’
Part 1 of this double set was occasionally brilliant but bordered too close to tedious AOR, too often.  It’s a strong record but serves as a placeholder for something more dense and engaging to follow.  As the packaging describes, Part 2 is ‘The Epic Conclusion’; so it seems Corey’s kept the best till last.  Much darker, edgier, almost industrial in parts (do we sense a touch of NIN in there?).  Its immediacy makes it superior to Part 1 on first listen, with harder drums, heavier riffs, Taylor’s devil tones kicking up more dirt than ever – opening cuts ‘Red City and ‘Black John’ are as good as anything this band or the other band, has ever written.  ‘Sadist’ rides similar rails to Part 1 but adds a sinister undertone that makes it so much more ‘Rock’, in concept and execution.  Who are we to judge?  It’s clearly marked with the heart and soul of a man who wants nothing more than to do things is way.  This is his show, rest assured, and whilst egotistical, its impressively so and at no point self celebratory.  ‘Stalemate’ has a soft centre but an abrasive shell that’s accessible, angry, persuasive.  ‘Gravesend’ is downright ugly, ’82’ bubbles under, ‘The Uncanny Valley’ equally so, but ‘Do Me A Favour’ is a fists in the air crowd pleaser, adroitly followed by a rather contrived ‘The Conflagration.  Thankfully the title track is a huge ending and swings like a hookers arse, granting a natural high and an un-surprising end to a hugely ambitious and sprawling achievement that contains some of his best work yet.  (8)
STEVE FLETCHER

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