Review by Matt Bradley
Whether you love Corey Taylor or you hate him, you have to admit that he never stops. Not counting being the vocalist of Stone Sour and Slipknot, he has released his own non-album single and either guested on or produced nearly thirty separate releases for other bands since his time in the spotlight began. That obviously isn’t enough for the iconic front man, as he now has branched out even further with Dark Horse Comics and is releasing four issues of a comic mini-series which is brought to life with the music of the two House of Gold and Bones albums of the same name.
The first track ‘Gone Sovereign’ fades in with a simple riff and some singing from Taylor before it kicks in with high tempo hard rock, with a couple of ear-pleasing solos from guitarists James (Jim) Root and Josh Rand. It’s a solid opening track, but nothing spectacular. Unfortunately, the album follows that formula for the most part; there isn’t anything particularly wrong with any of the tracks but after the final song ends, you’re left wondering if that was the best Stone Sour had to offer.
That’s not to say there aren’t a couple of stand-out moments though. ‘Tired’ is admittedly a fantastically written melodic beast of a song, although the string arrangement is really what makes the track soar and stand out. The following composition, ‘RU486’ is the only other piece of music out of the eleven that begs for another listen. Following the hypnotic introduction is a hard as hell riff which the rest of the band back up, and it is the only track on House of Gold and Bones (part 1) which could really be classed as heavy. Taylor screams and snarls like a lion, it’s almost like a lost Slipknot vocal take. The riffs in ‘RU486’ are totally headbang-worthy and are definitely going to be inciting mosh pits at Stone Sour gigs worldwide.
Alas, these are the only two moments on the album that grab the listener. HoGaB (pt1) is not a bad collection of songs by any means; it’s well produced, Taylor’s lyrics are intelligent, and the pieces of music are satisfactory both in composition and in the way they alter between soft acoustic to hard rock, but with such a well known band there comes an expectation of that little something more, that little undefinable X factor which, sadly, is not fulfilled with this album. Perhaps it will all make sense with the second of the House… releases but for now, it’s just not quite enough.
5.5 out of 10