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Stone Sour – Audio Secrecy

Label: Roadrunner
Format: CD
Released: 2010
Reviewed By: Kevin Alba
Rating: 8/ 10


Wow, has four years really passed since the release of 2006’s amazing “Come What(ever) May”? Well I guess it’s not that hard to believe considering they toured for that album, then Slipknot went back in the studio to do an album and several tours between 2008 and now. Really the more suitable question to ask is whether or not Corey Taylor and Jim Root ever take a rest? I guess not as they are practitioners to the Accept-coined metal term ‘Restless and Wild’ seeing that these guys are consistent putting out quality hard rock and metal. I’m yawning just thinking about it but good for them and hats off!

 

The four year gap between Stone Sour albums was worth the wait as the boys have delivered possibly their finest to date bridging heavy, crushing songs with softer and at times somber hard rock ballads. Many people consider Stone Sour to be the diet or softer version of Slipknot, but if you ask me these people must really only know Sour for their mega hits ‘Bother’ and ‘Through Glass’ because some of their stuff easily matches the intensity of Slipknot. Case and point would be the opening track of "Audio Secrecy", ‘Mission Statement’, where the band pummels the listener like a battering ram. This will be an instant live staple for sure as I envision many pit breakouts and bodies being flung over the wall. Jim Root’s guitar solo here is very note worthy and this song over all sees the band taking a more traditional approach to their style of metal. I much prefer this over the more nu-metal sound that was present on the band’s first album. Signs of growth for sure.

‘Digital (Did You Tell)’ follows up (great play on words by the way) and is possibly my favorite track on the album. It has that mainstream radio appeal to it but manages to stay heavy enough to be a headbanger as well. The arrangement following the chorus throughout this song is especially cool. ‘Say You’ll Haunt Me’ (also the bands first single for the album), has a great catchy hook that will likely find you singing along midway through your first listen. These first three songs are an excellent one, two, three punch and I could not think of a better way to kick things off. ‘Dying’ deals with the topic of a relationship that is although filled with love cannot last, and by staying in the situation both parties are slowly dying. This one with its delivery has the potential to be a huge hit and has top 40 pop rock written all over it. A great song that many can relate to. ‘Pieces’ has a great opening gallop with enough punch to allow you to get that last rep up while lifting weights or completing that final lap at the track.

‘Imperfect’ is just one of those devastating ballads about having to let go. If you are freshly out of a relationship and the choice wasn’t yours this may not be the best track to listen to as its depressive nature will further bring you down. Corey is so beyond deep on this one with the lyrical content that the Wal-Mart smiley face would frown upon hearing it.

My only complaint about this album (and it isn’t too major of a deal) is that 14 songs are a tad too many. Trim two or three from the mid way point towards the end (perhaps ‘Pieces’ and ‘Let’s Be Honest’) to make this a bit more effective. Although sheer greatness re-enters for closing track ‘Threadbare’. Then again, it isn't like we get a new Stone Sour album every two years so I am sure the boys wanted to give more bang for the buck.

I am very happy with this album and I have to honestly say that after four Slipknot and three Stone Sour releases I am siding with Stone Sour for sure. Looking at some of this bands peers who also released albums this year, Stone Sour left Korn in the dust (do people really still care about those guys?), slightly outdid Disturbed, and are right on the same page with Avenged Sevenfold. Can’t wait for the next go round!

 
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