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Stone Sour

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After validating every stripe of teen torment when working as masked members of Slipknot, vocalist Corey Taylor and guitarist Jim Root offer fans a chance to explore the sounds of their former, failed hard rock band, Stone Sour. Formed in 1992 and retired in 1997, Stone Sour played soulful, metallic hard rock in the vein of Alice in Chains, traces of which later appeared in looser, guitar-oriented Slipknot numbers like ”Left Behind.” The album opener, ”Get Inside,” and the snaky ”Choose” kick with the agility of Pantera, while the mellower ”Monolith” and ”Blue Study” rely on Taylor’s nasal vocals for emotional punch. Stone Sour probably wouldn’t have made it out of Iowa in 2002 without the platinum pedigree of its erstwhile members; still, this is a respectable package of monster riffs and dynamic ideas. –Ian Christe

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  • While mistakenly deemed as a side project of Slipknot alums Corey Taylor (vocalist) and Jim Root (guitar), Stone Sour (Des Moines, IA) actually existed prior to the aforementioned metal band, dating back to its inception in 1992. Co-founded by Taylor and drummer Joel Ekman, Stone Sour existed for five years, rounded out by Jim Root, guitarist Josh Rand and bassist Shawn Economaki, before Corey left the band in 1997 to join Slipknot, followed by Jim Root a year later. In the year 2000, fate intervened, eventually leading to the reuniting of the Stone Sour members who, after experimenting with different band names (Project X, Superego, Closure), settled on original moniker Stone Sour. On August 27, 2002, Stone Sour will release their S/T, Toby Wright-mixed (Korn, Alice In Chains) debut album through Roadrunner / Island Def Jam.Emphatically pointing out that Stone Sour is not another side project or Slipknot clone, frontman/co-founder Corey Taylor goes on to describe the band as “old fashioned heavy rock.” In general, this is a fairly accurate description as the music has more than its share of melodic moments and old school characteristics, not to mention your requisite metal aggression, though the heavy parts present are much more traditional than the chaotic fury usually associated in Slipknot songs. In fact, the aggressive sequences found, while retaining faint nu-metal traits and the occasional double-bass, possess a more conventional styling, hearkening back to the days of Pantera/Machine Head monster riffage, classic Metallica-inspired thrash guitars, vintage breakdowns, and even the rare guitar solo. Completing the sonic maelstrom that is unleashed by Stone Sour is a heavy dose of grunge-esque/modern rock melodies, the occasional scratching provided by Slipknot member DJ Sid, intermittent samples, and even strings. Meanwhile, vocalist Corey Taylor showcases tremendous versatility compared to his Slipknot outings, exponentially expanding his range to include clean rock harmonies reminiscent of Alice In Chains, coupled with his trademark barks, aggressive singing/screaming and demented spoken word, though as a whole, the aggression has been lessened with a greater emphasis on melody & dynamics.With “side projects” becoming almost as prominent as the actual bands from which the individual artists are based out of – case in point, Down, which features members of Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, & Eyehategod; Chino Moreno’s (Deftones) Team Sleep and Tapeworm (NIN), etc – it is no small surprise that Slipknot, perhaps the most recognizable icon in Metal these past few years, features members who are trying their hand at life outside Slipknot. This includes not only the aforementioned Stone Sour, but also Joey Jordison’s Murderdolls (formerly known as The Rejects), which also features Tripp Eisen of Static-X/Dope, and whose album Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls, debuted on August 20, 2002. However, where the Murderdolls is more of a punk-metal, b-movie horror amalgamation of Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Misfits, and Twisted Sister, Stone Sour features a sound that is closer to home, although their S/T debut is still quite a departure from what Slipknot fans are familiar with. Featuring thirteen tracks, Stone Sour’s debut album kicks off in recognizable fashion with the Slipknot-esque Get Inside, a super-charged metal anthem, complete with double-bass, psychotic vocals, and aggressive choruses. From there, the album ventures into more hard rock/vintage metal territory, including Blue Study, Monolith, the raw, semi-aggressive Orchids, and the driving Choose, while Idle Hands possesses a nice mix of Slipknot traits in chunk-driven riffs & seething vocals offset by catchy rock harmonies. While it is evident that Corey & company have not strayed too far from their metal roots, it is with such songs as the memorable, acoustic-like first single Bother, the old-school rock-inspired Take A Number, and the melodic/aggressive contrasting Inhale that the band truly shines, displaying a stark sense of melodicism, backed by excellent vocal harmonies. Rounding out the album is the catchy, loud/soft track Cold Reader, the dynamic Blotter, and the eclectic Tumult, while closing out the record is Omega, a spoken diatribe courtesy of Corey Taylor. As a whole, Stone Sour’s debut album is a pleasant surprise, for not only does the record deliver skilled musicianship coupled with well-composed songs and strong vocal flexibility, it also offers its own unique & diverse sound, rather than another version of Slipknot. Truth be told, Stone Sour is not exactly an original or artistically ingenious band, but they are a group that possesses range and substance, much more than anything Slipknot could ever offer. In the end, while fans will undoubtedly flock to Stone Sour because of the Slipknot connections, in time, listeners will follow the act based more so on the band’s own merits…

    Posted on December 14, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • After meeting Corey Taylor a few months ago before a show, I fell in love with Stone Sour. Even before the meet I liked Stone Sour, as well as Murderdolls, for only a few months before had I become a fan of the band I once despised, Slipknot. Why did I despise them? The same reason the people who do despise them despise them. Because they scream. But if you were a big fan of Slipknot, and listened to songs like “Wait & Bleed”, “No Life”, “My Plague” & “Me Inside”, you could tell that Corey could indeed sing, and you can tell it even more with Stone Sour, in which he keeps his famous screaming (though not as much), but his singing is more present. Is Stone Sour better than Murderdolls? Oh yeah. Is Stone Sour better than Slipknot? That’s for you to decide…1. Get Inside-5/5-A very heavy song, one of the heaviest on th album. The verses are a slow-down from the rest of the song, and the choruses just rock!2. Orchids-5/5-This, like “Cold Reader”, is a strange song. It’s hard to define; it’s melodic, hard in some parts, and that’s about it. Oh yeah, it’s great, too.3. Cold Reader-5/5-See previous.4. Blotter-4/5-It starts off with a message on Corey’s answering machine sounding like some guy throwing up or something…anyway, this was a hard song for me to like at first. The verses don’t appeal to me too much, but I’ve overcome that, and now I enjoy the song. The bridge’s once again show how good of a singer Corey Taylor really is.5. Choose-4/5-A good song, one of the first I liked, with quiet, melodic choruses, that turns into a heavier song, and goes up and down from there. It can get boring in some places after a while, which is why I give it a 4.6. Monolith-5/5-A slower, more melodic song, with great singing and lyrics, and a mysterious sounding guitar solo. I love it.7. Inhale-5/5-The album’s proposed next single, and it’s possibly my favorite. If you listen to the lyrics, it’s obvious what the song’s about, a “broken man”. The music, lyrics, singing, everything is wonderful.8. Bother-3/5-I first heard this song on the Spider-Man soundtrack (before this album was released) and thought, “hell no-this must be another Corey Taylor.” Well, it’s not. This is an acoustic song, very depressing, yet very uplifting at the same time. I like acoustic stuff, but this doesn’t deserve more than a 3.9. Blue Study-0/5-Sorry, but there’s always one of those bad songs. This is one of them.10. Take A Number-2/5-Another not-so-good song. However, that’ll stop with the next song…11. Idle Hands-5/5-This is a darker song, not THAT heavy, but still heavy in it’s own right. The verses stand out the most on this track.12. Tumult-3/5-When I saw Stone Sour live, Corey called this track the “heaviest on the album”. It doesn’t sound like that to me. Yes, it’s heavy, but not worthy of a title such as that.13. Omega-5/5-A much talked about “talking” track, with Corey reciting dark poetry, interupted every minute or so by someone in the background. Sure, you won’t listen to this every time you pop in this CD, but it’s very entertaining for what it is.Check out Stone Sour if you like Slipknot, Korn, Mudvayne, Disturbed or any other simuilar band.

    Posted on December 14, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • If you like the mellower moments of Slipknot, if you’re closer to metal that’s more regular than the heaviest hardcore, or if you even like hard rock ballads, Stone Sour’2002 is what you are looking for.The only problem about the CD is you may expect, thanks to the couple of guys, something very similar to Iowa. You’ll be unlucky in the case: you’ll have a couple of moments when you feel the familiar sound, but the biggest part of the cd is a different sort of music. It’s industrial, it’s plain metal, it’s sort of hardcore, and it’s just… hard rock.Whatever may disappoint you, overall the music is great, professionally written and played, and every track is amazingly original, refreshing, and reminds of some other musicians that skilfully vary their music through an album.Bother is simply a beautiful thing, and… the strangest track on the CD, due to its pop-hard-rock-ballad-like type. The hit appreciated by millions anyway.The faster tracks like Get Inside, Tumult, and Orchids, the slower ones like Idle Hands, Choose, and Blue Study, the differently styled Monolith, and Inhale, and the mysterious Omega, these are all parts of the same complicated but very pleaseful musical picture that’s painted by undoubtedly talented guys named Stone Sour.The good buy.

    Posted on December 13, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Okay, I know that writing a review for a product on the day it comes out is not the smartest thing in the world, being that probably nobody will be able to read this review because of all the others that will be here at the same time, but I don’t care. I can’t take it anymore. I bought “Stone Sour” today and have already listened to it more than a dozen times. This album is AWESOME!For those of you who don’t know, the lead singer is Corey Taylor, that’s right, the lead singer from Slipknot. And if any of you had doubts that the man can sing, you just listen to this CD and then decide for yourself. I know, people have been saying the man can’t sing because he yells and screams all the time. I agree that most of the metal bands I listen to, the lead singer can never sing, hence the yelling and screaming. But Corey CAN sing, and does a great job.Do not be fooled, this is NOT Slipknot, so don’t go thinking that’s what you’re gonna get. The whole point of doing side projects is to do something different. Otherwise there’s really no point, now is there? True, these guys are still heavy and Corey still yells and screams. But, the guitars are a little more mellowed-out, and the music isn’t as fast-paced or as aggressive.There was not one bad song I could find on this album. Every one of them is excellent. My favorites are as follows: get inside, orchids, blotter, monolith, bother, inhale, and choose. But, they’re all great. “get inside” reminds me of “spit it out,” being that Corey raps a little in this and it’s fast paced. Other songs aren’t as fast paced.I was also amazed by the writing. There’s some really great lyrics, and since there is more singing, you can understand them all without a problem. The lyrics are very emotionally-packed and well-constructed. But man, it’s just so great to hear Corey do some singing. I mean, I love the yelling and screaming, but he really does have a beautiful voice, and he takes full advantage of it on this album. (Don’t worry, everybody else in the band is just as good.)If you still have doubts on Corey’s singing ability, just have yourself a seat, place this bad boy in, and go to track #8; good ol’ “bother.” (which also appeared on the “Spider-Man” soundtrack.The CD also includes the video for “get inside.”Overall, the singing is great, the guitars are great, and the drumming is great. Everything about this album is great. This just might be the best album of 2002. Then again, that’s only my opinion. Check it out when you can. If you like good metal or just some great rock music, “Stone Sour” is the album you’ve been looking for.

    Posted on December 13, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Stone Sour’s first, self-titled ablum is a hard-hitting collection of melodic to heavy rock. Revived by vocalist Corey Taylor and guitarist Jim Root of Slipknot (Stone Sour originally broke up prior to Slipknot’s existence), Stone Sour has given Corey and Jim the opportunity to express themselves much more melodically than they would be able to do with Slipknot. This is especially true with the ballad “Bother”.Here are my ratings for each of the songs on their debut album:1. “Get Inside” 5/5. Heaviest song on the album. Very heavy guitar and aggressive guttural vocals.2. “Orchids” 5/5. Hard guitar, guttural to melodic vocals. Guttural chorus.3. “Cold Reader” 5/5. Hard guitar, more melodic vocals. Melodic to guttural chorus.4. “Blotter” 5/5. Starts with a silly answering machine message. Second heaviest song on the album. Heavy guitar and aggressive, guttural to melodic vocals. Melodic to guttural chorus.5. “Choose” 4/5. Hard guitar, guttural vocal beginnnig giving way to more melodic vocals. Melodic to guttural chorus.6. “Monolith” 5/5. Emotional hard guitar. Melodic & emotional vocals. Aggressive & emotional chorus.7. “Inhale” 4/5. Starts with heavy guitar, giving way to soft vocals. Very melodic chorus.8. “Bother” 4/5. Melodic ballad. Soft guitar, very melodic & emotional vocals. No percussion. String accompaniment and accoustic guitar.9. “Blue Study” 3/5. Hard guitar, soft vocals, but aggressive chorus. (Like the chorus best.)10. “Take a Number” 4/5. Softer to hard guitar, mix of soft to aggresive to heavy vocals.11. “Idle Hands” 4/5. Hard to heavy guitar, collage of deep vocals to aggressive/melodic vocals.12. “Tumult” 5/5. Third heaviest song on the album. Good mix of soft spots & loud/heavy/guttural vocals.13. “Omega” 3/5 Emotional, poetic reading (or rant). No instruments.Hardcore Slipknot fans may or may not like Stone Sour because it’s not as aggressive or heavy. Fans of more melodic hard rock will probably like Stone Sour more than Slipknot.

    Posted on December 13, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now