Stone Sour have been very inconsistent over the last decade to say the least, but nonetheless their popularity grows and grows in the UK, and the Iowan radio rockers have taken the leap to arenas for their upcoming tour.
The band have taken a turn away from alternative metal to hard rock since the Grammy nominated ‘Get Inside’ and ’30/30-150′, but ‘Hydrograd’ combines their ability to write melodic and friendly choruses with the heavier riffs of old with mixed results, but enough decent material for album number six to be a major highlight in the Stone Sour discography.
When the first taste of ‘Hydrograd’ arrived in ‘Fabuless’, you could tell that Stone Sour were back to make the point that they can be a force to reckoned with in heavy metal, and that they can still offer the same remorseless and obnoxious tracks that they could back on their 2002 self-titled debut.
The intensity of the guitar work dictates the tone of the heavier tracks, with a Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin hybrid defining the title-track which frames frontman Corey Taylor‘s vocals and highlights his ability to capture this market, whereas ‘Knievel Has Landed’ builds to a guitar solo after the vocal melody and hook which combine for an interesting listen that lingers for days.
The more melody driven songs and ballads have been the downfall of Stone Sour as of late, as they dip their toes in a saturated field of vanilla records aimed at a mass audience that’ll eat up any shit served up to them on a silver plate. ‘Song #3’ triggers alarm bells with its uninspiring intro, but manages to completely rectify itself with a decent chorus, but sadly the same can’t be said for ‘Mercy’ or ‘Rose Red Violent Blue (This Song Is Dumb & So Am I)’, both of which are completely unnecessary and should’ve been omitted from the record completely.
Fortunately for Stone Sour, the great bits of ‘Hydrograd’ outweigh the dull sections, and it really is quite good during the highlights. A decent and somewhat unexpected return from the band who are at the point in their career that throwing 5 or 6 great tracks into the mix is enough to continue their legacy.
Written by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)