House of Gold & Bones Part 1 is the first half of two-part concept album that singer Corey Taylor has engineered for Stone Sour’s latest release. Along with the concept coming in the form of two albums, there will also be visual representations. Taylor has teamed up with Dark Horse Comics to create a miniseries to go along with the albums. The first is said to be due out in April before the second album is released. With so much riding on one concept fans are eager to see how it all pans out and House of Gold & Bones Part 1 definitely does not disappoint.
What Taylor calls a “morality play,” the album tells the story of a man on a search to find himself and who he wants to be and all the obstacles he faces on this journey. The opening track, “Gone Sovereign,” sets the stage for where the man in question is at in his life. With the line “If only the contented will survive, is anybody here left alive?” the man’s condition is made obvious. This track starts off the album strong with thrashing guitars and powerful drumming to get your blood pumping. “Absolute Zero” carries the same ideas into the next track with Taylor’s vocals never faltering in intensity.
“RU486” is probably my favorite song from the album. Taylor’s vocals are the fiercest yet in this song as he commands, “Assume your nemesis, RU486.” RU-486 is actually a steroid used to terminate pregnancy and, I’m assuming, the subject of this particular track. The following track entitled “My Name is Allen” describes the title character’s schizophrenic-like internal conflict. The band has released visuals to go along with this song, including one for the “Allen” character and “The Human” that is mentioned in the song (“Why does it matter when The Human is gone?”). Things slow down a bit with the acoustic “Taciturn,” but that doesn’t last too long. The album ends on a strong note with “The Last of the Real” that paves the way for the second half of the story.
Not many bands would be able to pull off what Corey Taylor and company is attempting with this double concept album, but they does so flawlessly. This album secures a place for Stone Sour as a force to be reckoned with and not just a side project for Slipknot’s Corey Taylor and James Root. The growth of the band is evident with this album and I can’t wait to hear how this journey ends.
- Emily Bunn