Review: Stone Sour – Audio Secrecy

For fans of:  Slipknot / Nickelcack / Alter Bridge

Following the tragic death of Slipknot bassist Paul Gray earlier this year, the one question on many peoples’ minds has been regarding the future of Slipknot and whether there will be another album.  Apparently, looking at many of the recent interviews, this is also not a question that people are too polite to not ask.  For the moment, comments by the band members have been conflicting and it’s a case of just waiting and letting them mourn first before asking themselves if they want to re-enter the studio and continue without their friend.

In the mean time however, Corey and Jim’s other band, Stone Sour are back with their third album and I present to you a review of their latest offering.  Read on to see what I make of it.

Stone Sour – Audio Secrecy

From my first listen, it was apparent that Audio Secrecy continues down the increasingly generic path that second album, Come What(ever) May paved the way for.  Let’s get one thing out of the way first, if you enjoyed that last album, you will most likely enjoy this, but Audio Secrecy is definitely not as good.  It’s a standard Stone Sour affair, no bells, no whistles and a definite sense of we’ve heard this all before.  As I was not a huge fan of the last album, I find it even harder to enjoy this album.  The first Stone Sour album displayed a more melodic side to Corey Taylor, but it avoided the many clichés that plague many of the current alternative bands of this generation.  Although flawed, the debut Stone Sour did show promise, but unfortunately Stone Sour have become the very thing I hate in modern rock, making use of every cliché possible.

Audio Secrecy starts with the now over-used pretentious introduction instrumental.  You know the sort of thing, as it’s now a standard for every modern Rock and Metal album these days.  Basically if you don’t have some pretentious wankery of an introduction track, your album isn’t worth listening to…  The introduction and title track presents the listener with a piano playing gently, making use of a peddle point, as the piano increases in volume before breaking into the first track of the album, Mission Statement.  The opening riff is pretty good and Mission Statement is one of the strongest tracks on the album.  It’s also one of the heaviest.  Having seen the band live earlier this year, I can tell you the song works well live and the chorus is catchy enough to have the crowd chanting along to the chorus as soon as it’s played.

The next track Digital follows the same kind of formula, and this is the start of the downfall for the album.  Every track sounds the same.  It’s all just standard, semi-heavy generic heavy rock that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Nickelback album.  Throw in a few soppy ballads with high school level lyrics and you have Audio Secrecy.  This is basically just Come What(ever) May 2, but not as catchy.

The corny acoustic tracks aren’t as strong as previous ballads Bother and Through Glass either.  On the acoustic ballad, Imperfect, Corey whines “what do you want to hear?” – Well Corey how about something with some fucking balls?  Or how about something that isn’t a re-hash of your last album? Harsh, but considering this album is completely forgettable, someone has to say it.

Many of the tracks on Audio Secrecy of involve increasingly “poppy” sing-along choruses.  Say You’ll Haunt Me is a perfect example of this.  This isn’t something new, Stone Sour made use of melodic catchy vocals on their previous album, but unfortunately in the case of Say You’ll Haunt Me, the song kind of sucks.  I wish I could talk more about this album, but to be perfectly honest, I can barely remember anything about it.  It’s standard, by numbers, alternative rock.  If that’s your thing, then fair enough, but frankly it goes through one of my ears, and out the other.

In truth, this review was incredibly hard to write.  Upon first listen, and before I considered reviewing this album, I simply dismissed it as crap and went on with my life.  Trying to dissect this album and put into words what is wrong with it is hard, especially when it does have a few solid tracks.  The problem for me is, it’s not as good as their first 2 albums and it’s basically the same album as their last album, only not as good, and way more generic.  I tried listening to this album this morning, and I fell asleep half way through… I’m listening to the album again as I write this review and it just doesn’t interest me.  If you’re a fan of Stone Sour, then no doubt you’ll enjoy it, but if you’re looking for something new or more original, stay away.  I’m sorry Corey and co, it’s just kind of, well gosh, boring.

Final verdict: Average.

If you’re not a fan of reading what is actually written in a review, or prefer all my words to be summed up into a meaningless number, I give this album 5/10.

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