Review Summary: Stone Sour further develop their clean, radio friendly rock sound giving the mainstream rock fans something to look forward to whilst receiving mixed results from the hard rock/metal genre base.
As far as rock radio goes this is a highly successful third effort from Stone Sour. Audio Secrecy displays many traits from their previous album but loses some of the bands metal stylings prominent in their self titled first release. The overall sound Stone Sour has developed is a stronger, friendlier and catchier release than their previous efforts.
Whilst barely stepping away from a mainstream dominant album there are the occasional features that most listeners would pick up on a first listen that suggests that some members of Stone Sour have not in any way lost their metal influences i.e. the double bass drum work that occasionally makes an appearance and Taylors screamed vocal lines usually placed at the beginning and end of some vocal phrases (even if they are less intense than his other workings) that show there are some metal influences that cannot be separated band to band.
A feature many will notice that is typical of the radio/mainstream rock genre includes the use of hook lines (a feature where the track title/hook is used in the track itself, usually in a chorus section) in many tracks of the bands album helps create a higher level of catchiness in tracks, Audio Secrecy it seems is no different. The lyrical content of Audio Secrecy tackles many issues used all over the genre including both love and death and the lyrics are developed to be catchy and memorable and Audio Secrecy does not fall short in that department. Vocally Corey Taylor has a better portrayed clean vocal effort using a greater amount of melody with less emphasis on his screamed vocal efforts when his vocals are compared to his work with Slipknot. Instrumentally the music behind the vocal lines display a hard rock if not metalcore style approach, this being created by the use of sliding octave diads and verse line chugging/low end dominant riff work. The guitars play creatively and tastefully to contribute to the rest of the bands effort. The solo work of Josh Rand and Jim Root also display their own personal talents as guitarists and display their technical abilities greatly. These solos also include a few metal dominant features including shredded guitar leads and harmonics. The bass guitar while not overly prominent throughout the album does add to the albums texture and improves the tracks quality reinforcing the guitars rhythm work. A positive feature used in Audio Secrecy includes a greater use of Taylor’s piano work and while they are not overly special they do add an interesting level of contrast for the listeners. Giving strength to the album is Roy Mayorga’s drum work showing occasionally some influences brought to this record from his work with Soulfly and his other previous metal influences i.e. the double bass work and the extended cymbal use, however his drumming efforts neither improve nor lower the albums overall standard.
The production level of Audio Secrecy is of the highest quality and some listeners may feel that the sound is too clear, or over produced. For Stone Sour that is not really a bad thing, a clean production gives greater benefit to Taylor’s clean vocal work and emphasises its radio rock potential.
Stone Sour have really come together on their third studio effort with their radio/mainstream sound and while not for everyone Audio Secrecy displays a great level of catchiness cementing their sound in the mainstream rock genre. When Audio Secrecy is looked at without comparison with other bands it shows Audio Secrecy as a great album and a coming together of Stone Sour.
Highlights Include: Say You’ll Haunt Me, Hesitate, Miracles and Anna.