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It’s all about continuity here. Stone Sour distinctively and purposefully continue with the ‘House of Gold and Bones’ tale. It might be a case of the two being divided into equal and isolated parts, but this is very much a merger, with part two now making this become a musical whole.
In many respects the tone of the album is delivered in a way that assumes the listener is accustomed with part one. The style suggests the band is merely hitting the ‘resume’ button. Opener ‘Red City’ isn’t aggressive or fast, or even imposing. Corey Taylor opens with a very moody, reflective croon, which is matched by a gentle piano. This isn’t the typical Stone Sour opener akin to the likes of ‘Get Inside’, ‘30/30-150’ and ‘Mission Statement.’
Stone Sour are uniquely Stone Sour now. They have been for a long time. They aren’t Slipknot-lite or a random nu-metal, hard rock hybrid. The music is controlled and characterised here.
‘Black John’ toes that fine line. Slightly heavier riffs mixed with Taylor’s chorus friendly approach. The album really doesn’t pick things up in the way of intensity. From the acoustic textures, which begin ‘Stalemate’ to the sombre ‘The Conflagration’, this is (hate to use the word) very “mature” sounding. The end refrains – “I’m on my own” – almost a direct ode to ‘The Travellers Pt. 1’.
‘House of Gold and Bones part two’ is not intended as a rager. It doesn’t present itself in such a way. The music is resolute – a statement on where Stone Sour currently are in their career.
In terms of concluding the thematic side of things, ‘House of Gold and Bones part two’ is apt. It’s largely melodic and in pure separation from everything else might be a little passive, but the full-length is again well produced, incredibly polished and driven by wise heads.
Stone Sour put a clear full-stop on a bold two-part musical series. It sees the band push the boundaries a little further, with mostly positive results.
1. Red City
2. Black John
8. The Uncanny Valley
9. Blue Smoke
10. Do Me A Favor
11. The Conflagration
12. The House Of Gold & Bones