Review Summary: Another good album from Stone Sour, revealing Corey Taylor's true singing abilities.2 of 4 thought this review was well written
Slipknot is somewhat of an oddity in the metal world. They incorporate all sorts of different and often crazy styles into their music and their often hectic live shows and over-the-top image only enhances their uniqueness. Singer Corey Taylor is often constantly tearing away at the mic and screaming with ferocity. However, his singing voice is arguably the better part of his vocal arsenal. Guitarist James Root has lately incorporated frantic and incredibly rapid solos into Slipknot's latest offerings. Stone Sour was Taylor's first band and after the success of Slipknot in the late 90's and early 2000's, Taylor decided he wanted a band to demonstrate his clean-singing abilities. Stone Sour's self-titled
album was similar to Slipknot in many ways. Tracks like "Get Inside" featured rapping, which was a staple in Slipknot's early albums and at times it seemed as if they were the same band. With their second album, Come What (ever) May
, Stone Sour breaks away more from the Slipknot sound into a more traditional heavy metal/hard rock entity. Taylor demonstrates his singing abilities on all of the tracks and some work out and some don't.
The album kicks off with the very strong "30/30-150". It begins with a crunching guitar riff and drummer Roy Mayorga then comes in with thundering double bass and fills. Throughout the song, Taylor uses his both his cleans and his trademark shout, which adds extra emotion. This track shows everything that Stone Sour incorporates into their music and it sounds great. Overall, this is a great start for the album. The title track and "Hell & Consequences" continue the trend that "30/30-150" started. The former contains two psychotic guitar solos from Root and shows just how much shred he can pull off. The latter is much more like the opener and begins with Taylor letting out a scream and Mayorga's double bass punching you with every kick. The chorus features some good, melodic, harmonized licks and the song also contains a rather well-worked solo. The track ends heavily as well. Coming up fourth is "sillyworld", which is the first of the ballads on the album that Stone Sour often pull off well. This one isn't really anything special, as it doesn't seem to be as emotional as say, "Bother" off their first album. Tracks 5-7 and 9-11 all resume the heaviness that the beginning of the album kicked off. The most note-worthy tracks of the these 6 are "Your God" and "Reborn", with the former containing two more great solos and an interesting descending main guitar riff that seems to hook you into the track. The other is a furious, shouty number and ends with perhaps the heavies moment on the album with Corey screaming "Motherf**ker!" at the top of his lungs as if he's talking to an abusive parent.
Sandwiched in between is "Through Glass", which is a much better ballad than "sillyworld". It contains much more emotion and puts forth catchy hooks that at times you can't help but sing along to, however repetitive they may be, especially a line at the end that seems to be taken from a certain Coldplay song. Track 12 is "Zzyzx Rd.", which is another quieter track that works reasonably well to end the first version of the album. The bonus tracks are of varying qualities, the best being "Suffer", which pleases with another above-mediocre solo and more wailing shouts from Corey. Track 17 is a cover of Chris Issak's "Wicked Game", which Taylor makes work with his saturating clean-vocals while the final track is simply Taylor speaking about various issues and telling a story, which seems to sum up all of his feelings towards the world.
Vocally, Taylor is very adapt at all ends of the spectrum. His clean singing is great and his shouts add rage that seems to emanate throughout the album. However, his lyrics are really one of the downfalls of the album as a whole. They are extremely childish at times and it seems like he is simply ranting about subjects from the George Bush administration (title track), scars ("Made of Scars"), to dead generations ("30/30-150"). They really seem to hamper the album from being as good as it can be, as at times you wish he would think a bit deeper when he is writing his lyrics. Slipknot often suffers the same problems. In the end, Taylor is a much better vocalist than lyricist.
Guitarists James Root and Josh Rand provide a satisfactory performance on the fret-boards. However, it seems that James has completely taken over from Josh and drowns him out at many times. The solos are absolutely mental at times at James' prowess at shredding is mind-boggling. How he moves his fingers that fast is beyond me. The rhythm section of bassist Shawn Economaki and Mayorga is often lost in the mix of the demented solos and Taylor's vocal antics. Mayorga throws in some decent double bas and several excellent fills. However, as usual, the bass is rarely heard as the guitars and drums silence it.
The cons of this album are very apparent and stick out right away. The lack of bass, poor lyrics and repetition problems all bring this album down significantly. If it weren't for these mistakes, this album would be an excellent metal-influenced hard rock album. It feels at times as though something is missing. To be honest, I would really like to see a solo in "30/30-150" to push it to another level. Overall, however, it is a good record and any fans of the band or Slipknot should check it out, they most likely will not be disappointed. Come What (Ever) May [Bonus Tracks]
gets a 3.5 out of 5.
Come What(ever) May
Hell & Consequences