Stone Sour


Written by: PP on 30/11/2017 22:26:32

Corey Taylor's Stone Sour have reached their sixth album with "Hydrograd", the follow-up to 2012-2013's double concept album "House Of Gold & Bones". While the project has always been a bit of an on/off experience depending on Slipknot tour and album schedules, it has nonetheless delivered quality arena metal albums over the years. For "Hydrograd", the band has publicly stated they aimed for a groovier and more melodic sound than previous records while retaining the metallic elements of days gone by. For once, it's a fairly accurate description of what the album is all about.

"Taipei Person/Allah Tea", for instance, channels part Metallica, part Disturbed, and part Mudvayne to balance some heavy shredding against a huge, anthemic chorus that's ideal for the American mainstream rock radio stations focusing on the classic Billboard Modern Rock, nu-metallish bands. It's the kind of arena metal that headlines festivals and that, among others, Five Finger Death Punch also concentrates on. Likewise, "Knievel Has Landed" starts off like a Papa Roach song from their late 2000-s era, before landing back down to a similar arena metal format as Disturbed. Corey Taylor's triumphant, scratchy shouts of "I'm not better than you, I'm just better" during the title-track are exactly the sort of material that the masses love to toss their beers at during the bigger concerts, but there's no denying that it's pretty catchy.

And that's what "Hydrograd" is really about: softening the heavy edges of their metallic soundscape with easygoing choruses that make most club venues feel too small. Pretty much every song sounds convincing: "Song #3" has a big chorus, and the slightly more tribal vibe of "Fabuless" should be right up the alley of Slipknot fans. But even here, the band transition into a Five Finger Death Punch style mammoth chorus melody that suggests Stone Sour will soon be playing Slipknot-size venues across Europe if they don't already do that.

Yes, the band does explore some unconventional styles as well. "Rose Red Violent Blue (This Song Is Dumb & So Am I") goes into hard rock with its all-clean chorus and relaxed verses. The acoustic "St. Marie" brings country vibes along and could've been cut from the record if you ask me. "Mercy" sounds eerily like Papa Roach to an extent where it'd be easy to mistake the two bands for each other... and as we move along on the album, it becomes clear that the record is front-loaded with new Stone Sour classics and only "Whiplash Pants" is a late highlight.

At fifteen songs and 65 minutes of playtime, these are all tracks that could've been cut out, leaving behind an incredibly solid 10 songs or so of nu-metal/arena metal or whatever you want to call Stone Sour's music nowadays. The later songs just blend together and don't leave as memorable of an impression as the first half. Still, count on "Hydrograd" to keep expanding Stone Sour's popularity, even though it doesn't bring much new to a crowded genre.

Download: Taipei Person/Allah Tea, Knievel Has Landed, Hydrograd
For the fans of: Disturbed, Mudvayne, Machine Head, Papa Roach, Slipknot, Five Finger Death Punch
Listen: Facebook

Release date 30.06.2017

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