For Fans Of
The term ‘side-project’ is at times a disrespectful phrase. It implies a certain ‘middle period’ in between releases, where musicians twiddle their collective thumbs searching for the next activity to focus their artistic gaze. What emerges is the idea that a ‘side-project’ is purely designed to fill in time. However, while it has the potential to be an impertinent label it does not have the means to be solely detracting to a band’s overall credibility.
Stone Sour, much like the Murderdolls have grown out of the dreaded ‘side-project’ category. Both bands, in particular the former have found a voice that is individual, defined and not governed by any Slipknot connotations both musically and theme wise.
‘Audio Secrecy’ is perhaps where Slipknot stalwarts, Taylor and Root do their best work currently. Both are not confined to a nu-metal, thrash sound that has to be exclusively heavy and menacing. Put simply, they have more room to move, more room to breathe. Here there is a chance to explore – melody and subtle rock sensibilities are allowed as much as they are an expected prerequisite.
Taylor’s vocal range is one of the best in rock. It is an undeniable fact. On ‘Audio Secrecy’ his acoustic crooning and deep ominous refrains make up the sonic bookends, putting any aspiring American or Australian Idol wannabe to shame. Moreover, album number three benefits from the sustained contribution of drummer Roy Mayorga. Coming into the fold well into recording proceedings on ‘Come What(ever) May’, the South American skinsman this time offers his own creative contributions to the rhythmic structures of studio album three.
‘Say You’ll Haunt Me’ is the album’s main single and arguably the band’s most melodic rock creation yet. ‘Mission Statement’ will have fans on the heavier side of affairs appeased. While, ‘The Bitter End’ is a driving dose of heavy rock with a fitting chorus, conveniently positioned near the tail end of the album ensuring ‘Audio Secrecy’ goes out swinging. Contrastively, if there was any doubt about the lengths Stone Sour are willing to push their sound ‘Dying’ undoubtedly provides solid proof, with the song easily a contender for any top 20 commercial rock stations playlist.
‘Audio Secrecy’ is a comfortable listen. It is a reflection of a band secure in each other’s capabilities. The setting is incidental – be it in a studio, on a festival stage or in the smallest cavernous bar, Stone Sour is purposeful in approach, delivery and musical tact.
If you are looking for Slipknot under a different guise, complete with that typical and unconditional type of intensity then you have come to the wrong place. Expect prolonged and deliberate periods of melody mixed with the right amount of heaviness. In terms of hard rock albums released this year, ‘Audio Secrecy’ is going to take some beating for the most impressive.
Stone Sour unveils their most consistent, polished and textured effort to date. The sounds found on the previous two studio albums have amalgamated to form ‘Audio Secrecy’. If this is Stone Sour’s chosen style, then good…let the tunes keep coming.
1. Audio Secrecy
2. Mission Statement
4. Say You’ll Haunt Me
6. Let’s Be Honest
9. Nylon 6/6
12. The Bitter End