Review Summary: Stone Sour dissapoint on HOGAB 2
In my personal experience the second disc of a double album is usually far less interesting than the first disc. Several examples come tomind - disc 2 of RHCP's Stadium Arcadium, SOAD's Hypnotize and in 2013 HOGAB 2 continues this trend.
This is rather disappointing considering how solid part 1 was. Whilst part 1 wasn't anything groundbreaking, the songwriting was tight and there were several standout tracks such as Gone Sovereign, Absolute Zero (which I love playing along with on my guitar) and my fav RU486. The lack of quality in part 2 may be due to SS trying to write too many songs in too short a period of time.
The band members are all competent musicians and their strengths do come through on part 2 and it is amazing to see how much SS has grown musically since their self titled debut on Roadrunner. In particular Josh and Jim's lead guitar work is much more technical, tasteful and mature compared to their earlier days. Bolan's bass playing also add some further punch to Stone Sour's already solid rhythm section.
Songs on pt 2 are largely a hit or miss affair... And the songs more often miss. A good example of this being the album opener Red Citywhich is such a bore and may fit in perfectly on the lackluster Audio Secrecy. In fact it was a chore to listen to this album til the end. The heavier parts sound uninspired and forced compared to the intensity of RU486 and The Last of The Real on disc 1.
Many songs also feel disjointed with either a dull verse followed by a decent chorus or vice versa. A good example of this is Sadist which uses a rather awkward vocal melody to tie a boring verse to a respectable power chord driven chorus. There are also instances where sections of songs from part 1 are recycled as in the title track. There are still a few decent tracks such as Do Me A Favor, '82 and Conflagration.
Whilst it is evident that Corey and co put much effort into HOGAB it was pretty difficult to listen to part 2 in full and for many there will be the temptation to skip most of the tracks before the first minute of the song has elapsed.