There’s no denying that even if Corey Taylor’s role in Slipknot has helped them become one of the biggest metal bands in the world, Stone Sour have also fitted themselves into the category of being another successful and powerful entity in the metal business. A few years on from their critically acclaimed double concept album “The House of Gold and Bones”, Stone Sour is back at it with more anthemic, fist-pumping tunes through their sixth full-length studio record “Hydrograd”.
“Hello, you bastards!” is immediately the first thing you hear, the very second YSIF starts, but after the big introduction to the album, Taipei Person/Allah Tea brings the hard rocky and upbeat vibe that flows differently than a lot of Stone Sour’s songs. Knievel Has Landed steps into slightly heavier territory with some great melodic riffs from Josh Rand and Christian Martucci. Song #3 isn’t one of the better-composed tracks of “Hydrograd”. Even though it carries a more radio-friendly ring, it still comes with a good punch of catchy moments in the chorus and Christian’s solo.
Fabuless sounds more like a rockier version of Stone Sour’s “Come What(Ever) May” in its verses, along with an “Audio Secrecy” style in the choruses. For the most part of the second half of “Hydrograd”, the songs don’t exactly get any better or worse. Tracks such as Thank God It’s Over has an 80s hair metal influenced approach on the tempo’s beat and guitars, St. Marie is the band’s rock ballad on the acoustics. However, there’s a faster and heavier take from Stone Sour when they kick in with Whiplash Pants, Friday Knights and Somebody Stole My Eyes which are some of the more natural and well-composed pieces of “Hydrograd”.
Unlike a lot of other bands that are placed in the alternative metal category, Stone Sour have a lot of fresher and less dryer approaches in terms of music. For “Hydrograd”, it hasn’t exactly become a step up from when “The House of Gold and Bones” was initially created. Lyrically, it’s not really impressive, as I feel that there’s still some really basic wordplay in a lot of the tracks. However, Corey Taylor makes up for that by putting a lot of power and emotion into these songs, which makes the album’s lyrics feel more animated.
I wouldn’t particularly say it’s the easiest record to get into within the first listen, but it’s one of those that can be seen as a grower for people like me. Still, I have to commend Stone Sour for their latest effort with “Hydrograd”, as it has become one of their more natural products to date. Even if something may not fit well with a certain audience member, Stone Sour know how to sell it in order to make them change their mind and have them fit with the rest of the crowd, in order to enjoy it from start to finish.