STONE SOUR

"Stone Sour" (Roadrunner Records; 2002)

Reviewed by Jason Savage

Wow! What else can I say about this CD? I hate giving out four chainsaws, but I love this work of art from start to finish. I have to wonder why in the hell arenít these guys more popular than Slipknot? For those of you that may not understand my last statement, let me give you some pertinent background info:

Stone Sour was originally formed in 1992 by vocalist Corey Taylor and drummer Joel Ekman. As you may or may not know, Taylor fronts the platinum selling masked maggots collectively known as Slipknot. Add bassist Shawn Economaki to the mix and a revolving door of guitarists which was solidified in 1995 by the addition of guitarist Jim Root (another Slipknot alum) and you have the concoction know as Stone Sour. But there is more to this tale of music and mayhem. 

According to their bio at: http://www.stonesour.com/bios.cfm, "...in 1997, disenchanted and burnt out, Taylor quit Stone Sour to join Slipknot, leaving the others to go their separate ways. Joel started a family, while Jim joined Slipknot a year after Corey. Shawn went on to be stage manager for the 'Knot. The legacy that Stone Sour had created remained a glass half full.  

Or so it seemed.

In 2000, guitarist Josh Rand, another old friend/collaborator of Corey's and former Stone Sour alumni, approached Corey with some songs he had been working on. Together they would spend a year and a half writing what would eventually become Stone Sour."

So ok, this was Taylor's first band, not Slipknot. Having untied the knots, let's breakdown the music. I must say I was hooked after the opening song, "Get Inside," a heavy anthemic track that would feel just as comfortable on a Slipknot album. Besides this song, the rest of the CD takes the listener to familiar yet fresh territory. If you were expecting the nu metal noise created by the 'Knot you better think twice about buying this. On the other hand, if you like your metal loaded with cool hooks and grinding guitars give this a shot!

Taylor manages to blend bits and pieces of his Slipknot styled screams and growls with some truly excellent leads and harmonies. Yes, he really can sing and has a voice that can easily be classified as one of metal's best. I find myself hard pressed to pick a favorite track because it is so strong all the way through. The thing just oozes with emotional outbursts that come off very therapeutic and powerful. This is a side of Taylor that he never could let loose in Slipknot. This CD has something for everyone from the insane babble of "Blotter," to the sludgy riffs of "Choose," to the catchy chorus of "Monolith," to the anguish and pain of "Inhale," with its gothic ala My Dying Bride styled chords to Taylorís heartfelt acoustic power ballad; "Bother," off of the "Spiderman" soundtrack to the spoken word twisted poetry of "Omega," as it begs the question: "Do you serve a purpose or purposely serve?" Stone Sour has arrived and has taken the lead for album of the year!  

Every song seems to take you in a different direction while somehow maintaining its continuity. You'll have to hear it to believe it. Although it isn't stoner rock, it is very mind expanding. Imagine if you were in a room being bombarded by music from several speakers at once, each featuring a different band. Stone Sour emits bursts of Black Sabbath ("Take a Number"), Pantera ("Orchids"), Slayer meets NIN ("Tumult"), My Dying Bride ("Inhale"), even Nirvana ("Idle Hands"). 

Overall, I was VERY impressed with this CD. If you donít have it yet, get it! It completely blows away fellow 'Knot head Joey and the Murderdolls, which became more tedious after repeated spins. So far this has held its own and seems to be the only CD my stereo will allow me to play, hence my four chainsaw rating.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright © 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06 Mar 2016 14:20:09 -0500.