Stone Sour's sophomore release is a wonderfully executed hard rock album, the likes of which are rarely heard. Their debut album from 2002 demonstrated their collective ability, and Come What(ever) May continues to put their impressive songwriting on display.
The band began as a side project of Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor and guitarist James Root, and following their breakup, Stone Sour has become the main act. I am reminded of Phil Anselmo's forays with Down and the Super Joint Ritual during the last days of the mighty Pantera.
Stone Sour's debut in 2002 was an impressive collection of rock cuts, led by the hit single "Bother." I was particularly impressed by it, as it showed off the great rock voice that Taylor possesses, not evidenced by the Slipknot releases. Not that Slipknot was bad, but they were a band that improved with each release, and were clearly not of Stone Sour's style. Although, it does seem that Taylor widened his scope on the final (?) Slipknot album, Vol. 3 (Subliminal Verses).
Come What(ever) May is a complete album running the gamut from pedal to the metal, all out rockers like "30/30-150" and "Reborn," to the "Bother"-esque single "Through Glass"; to infectious mid-tempo cuts like "Socio," to the brilliantly depressing "Zzyzx Rd." I cannot actually point to a bad song in the bunch. This is a mature collection that has a strong focus on collaborative songwriting, and each member has their moment to shine, without an apparent upstaging. Indeed, they come together to create this solid rock sound.
One thing that is immediately noticeable lies in the variety of tempos and styles. Stone Sour is a band that is making a serious play for the top of the rock heap with their skillful use of sheer, gut-busting heaviness and emotion-laced melody. They never cross the line into nu-metal or metalcore, which is blessed relief. The guitar work from James Root and Josh Rand is impressive; their work is complimentary and very melodic.
Both lead the charge in creating the catchy rhythms, with a couple of nice solos mixed in. They are backed by the solid rhythm section of Shawn Economaki on bass and Roy Mayorga on drums. Corey Taylor is the shining light of this album, and his singing is, frankly, amazing.
When I listen to music the lyrics are generally the last thing I consider. Of course, if they are blatantly bad they stick out like a sore thumb like Limp Bizkit's The Unquestionable Truth, Pt. 1. I know – bad comparison, but those lyrics were just bad. This album has a few standout songs, lyrically speaking. First is "Sillyworld," a song that has a wonderful sense of how everything is a commodity, addressing the issue of words and signs and how they can be appropriated by the masses to the point of losing meaning. Another highlight is "Zzyzx Rd.," a wonderfully depressing song that just hits all the right notes in its beauty.
Bottomline. Stone Sour is a band to keep a close eye on. This is a very strong album that deserves a place on your CD rack. Above all else, this album is immensely satisfying on all counts; music performance, lyric writing, variety – it hits all the right marks. Come What(ever) May is one of the better rock albums to come out this year. What are you waiting for?Powered by Sidelines