2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Add Part One to Part 2, and you get...,
This review is from: House of Gold & Bones Part 2 (Audio CD)
...a 5 star album
I reviewed Part 1 by saying that although it was massively enjoyable piece with some great tunes and hooks it didn't hang together that well as a concept album and that it suffered from a sense of breaking off at mid point. Which of course it did, as we had to wait a few months for Part 2...and that the album seemed to be a series of standalone songs that although great, didn't fit the mould of what the band wanted to create, in their words, 'Stone Sour's version of Pink Floyd's The Wall'
By playing part 1 and then part 2 consecutively , the album finally reveals itself as a complete concept album, all the staples of a good concept pieces are there, the impressive opening (Gone Sovereign, Absolute Zero) the mood pieces, the mid album tempo shift (which is where part 2 starts) and the climatic emotional end (Conflagration) before the affirming last piece (this time the title track), with of course earlier melodies and themes making a reappearance in later tracks.
The album starts off 'side 2' (if you remember the old days of the 33's you will know what I am talking about) with Red City - the first real shift from the feel of 'side 1' Instantly the sound is darker, more intense, less immediate. The feeling of a darker mood prevails through much if not all of the second side, with Corey using his Slipknot snarling and growling to great effect through parts of Red City, Pekinpah, and Gravesend. It takes a few listens for the power and presence of the darker songs to permeate, at start they sound impenetrable, a little disjointed and overlayed, but the complex nature soon enough unfurls and the quality of the songs shine through. There are lighter moments, the almost disco drumming (well, hi-hatting) and loose riffing of Black John great fun and very catchy. Ditto Do me a Favor with its almost punky spiky chorus, and the more radio Rock '82 sitting well amongst the mellower, Sadist and Uncanny Valley. For me the highlight is the emotional ending pieces Conflagration, an emotional powerhouse of a song, great chorus, well sung, well played before the title track itself that affirms the ending of the album, and of the entire concept piece.
Stone Sour must be congratulated for the overall quality of both parts, so often concept albums drift aimlessly, are too focused on 3 or 4 great songs, or end up so far up themselves they become a parody of the genre itself. With both parts listened to side by side, the impact is of a very, very strong set of songs that fit neatly into the concept but are strong enough to be listened and more importantly enjoyed as stand alone tracks. There are few, if any real weak spots here, only a succession of snarling chest beating rock and metal and some glorious emotional power, and traditional balladry.
Guys, you did it well, take a bow.