Review Summary: There is really nothing particularly astonishing about the album; what’s most surprising is that Stone Sour finally manage to put out a well-rounded and altogether great record.
If you have ever seen Stone Sour live or listened to one of their interviews you might have noticed they’re a pretty determined bunch. Their beast of a frontman Corey Taylor seems particularly unstoppable, going from headlining stadiums, to playing small acoustic shows and bitching about politics and Scott Weiland. Hell, the guy even had a lecture at the Oxford University. But the determination was nowhere to be seen on their records; inconsistency plagued both Slipknot’s and even more so Stone Sour’s releases. Even when the songs were solid, they just did not gel together. The songs themselves were muddled and unfocused; an emotional chorus was followed by some generic riffing and double bass action and even though we know better sounded like leftovers from a Slipknot album. When the band tried to broaden their sound and distance themselves from Slipknot by going a bit soft on us with Audio Secrecy, they only managed to put out a cheesy and even blander record.
On House Of Gold And Bones - Part 1 Stone Sour attempt to shed the inconsistency by making a concept album. It’s not an attempt at a prog masterpiece akin to Operation Mindcrime or Scenes From a Memory; there is no spoken word and waterfalls in the background and no prolongated solos or flamboyant instrumentation. There is really nothing particularly astonishing about the album; what’s most surprising is that Stone Sour finally manage to put out a well-rounded and altogether great record. The songs are straightforward, but deadly effective. An otherwise simple, but none less ambitious concept, provides a common theme, every piece falling into place, and each song has a clear place on the record. The more hard-hitting songs never transcend into pointless anger-filled juvenile tantrums and the band sound just as strong-minded on the ballads never reaching the radio-rock patheticness of previous singles such Through Glass or Hesitate that would detract from the overall experience. Instrumental-wise the band functions like a well-oiled machine, the guitar tone is notably meatier and as a result the riffs are much more memorable, as are the carefully placed guitar solos.
Stone Sour are probably not winning any accolades for this release nor will it stand well beside our favorite concept albums, but House Of Gold And Bones - Part 1 sees the band rejuvenated and finally presents the band as they should be looked upon: strong and determined.