Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
When you move away from the epic and the glorious, from the style of the concept album you sometimes open yourself up to criticism, that the complex web you wove into an album is now beyond you, that the songs are almost to mainstream and easy on the ear; that by taking a step back to rediscover your roots what you do instead is turn around and start walking backwards to a place where people forget what you brought into their lives.
Taking the easy route is not one you can ever label against Corey Taylor. Whether in the bands Slipknot or Stone Sour, what you hear coming across the air that separates the listener from chaos and dirt like boredom and the hopeful scenario of explosive beautiful turmoil, is the signature rage of the man whose voice carries not only empathy and care but pandemonium and exotic bedlam in such quantity that it spills over and catches the listener unawares of the power that can set fire to a long since cold moon.
From the House of Gold & Bones, Stone Sour resurface after a four year break with the album Hydrograd, a swirling motion of sentiment and passion all wrapped up in an album that very much is back in the stable of Rock.
You can only ask for Mercy so many times before eventually it is granted, that the suffering of the past is wiped away and the new prospect of the unknown is placed in full view; Mercy may be just a word but it a sentence commuted and when heard on the new album it somehow shapes the way the listener will feel about the songs throughout the musical experience.
In tracks such as Song #3, Knievel Has Landed, St. Marie, Whiplash Pants and Friday Knights, Stone Sour climb the hill imposed by the registering of back to back concept albums with pleasure, guile and honest evaluation of what makes a great rock album tick.
Hydrograd may not capture the imagination that House of Gold & Bones stirred into life but it certainly keeps the music flowing, an album where there never is a dull moment is to be applauded and savoured fully.
Ian D. Hall