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Half a year after releasing „House Of Gold And Bones Part 1”, Stone Sour now publish the second part of the double album. Can the second part keep up with the really excellent first part of the album or not?
One thing is crystal clear once you put the CD into the player: Stone Sour did it once again, they created an album that offers a little something for everyone – no matter whether you are into really rocking songs (Do Me A Favour) or whether you like it a bit more mystical (Blue Smoke) – all this can be found on the album. It´s thus a really versatile album, featuring many different vocal and musical styles. However, the band doesn´t stray too far from familiar territory but that is totally acceptable.
Again, the band managed to find a good balance between heavy and slow songs. The tracks have a great focus on the good guitar playing and can thus shine with quite a few guitar solos, showing off the musicians´ skills. But I do think they are able of lots more. Remarkable is the use of string instruments – very often, they can be heard in the background, well-placed to slowly built up an arc of suspense and support the melodies in some parts of the songs.
One song is a must-listen and that is „Blue Smoke“. This track really stands out from the rest with its mystical sound, together with the string instruments and some distorted vocals, the band has created a really strange but fascinating atmosphere. It´s a really oddball piece of music, too bad that it is pretty short. “Red City” is going a bit into the same direction sound-wise. The song manages to take you into another world if you let it happen. The only downside of the song is the rather chaotic part at the end, since this part destroys a lot of the initial mood.
Another recommendation is „The Uncanny Valley“. It´s a song with a catchy melody and cool guitar riffs, accompanied with edgy vocals. The track has a lot of potential, who knows, maybe it´s going to be one of the next singles from this album – everything is possible, and that even though the song doesn´t manage to keep up the created tension from the first to the last note.
What´s the final verdict? Part 2 is nearly as strong as the first part, it can mostly keep up with it. Nevertheless, it lacks that tiny little extra bit. The certain something that was easily found in the songs of the first part is simply not present on Part 2, even though the album is overall atmospheric and harmonious.