Corey Taylor and James Root’s “other band” maybe assumed to be a side project, as they seek to do all the stuff that they can’t do with Slipknot. But for those in the know, it’s a definite case of knowing that the egg came before the chicken. Indeed the duo may seek to impart a more eclectic sound to the proceedings and yet the guitar work of Root and Taylor’s distinctive vocals ensure a clear familiarity in the finished product.
Following on from where last year’s part one left off is easier said than done. It’s certainly ambitious attempting to stretch the concept of an inner battle with a relationship over one album let alone two and yet last years installment had enough going for it to suggest that part two would be well worth a listen.
Pre-release ramblings from band members should largely be ignored and Taylor’s revelation that the ‘House of Gold & Bones’ releases would be like a cross between Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ and Alice In Chain’s ‘Dirt’ should be taken with a pinch, nay a sack full, of salt. It’s fair to say that there’s a huge dose of down-tuned guitar riff mongering on songs like opener ‘Red City’ or ‘Gravesend’ and this release is far doomier, darker and heavier than its predecessor , yet the underlying urge to spin a great hook, peel off a great guitar solo and write a radio friendly tune remain true to the core. ‘Audio Secrecy’ perhaps went too far with this fundamental principle but ‘House Of Gold & Bones’-and in particular this album-seems to have got the balance spot on. There’s an obvious effort here to combine the band’s early aggression with grunge histrionics and modern commercial metal. First single ‘Do Me a Favour’ is a chest beating metal anthem with a deliciously memorable chorus, ‘Peckinaph’-no don’t ask me either-is perhaps what Judas Priest would sound like if they grew up in Seattle, whilst ‘Stalemate’ combines modern metal with Nu-Metal, grunge and commercial rock with a punch and pizazz. Elsewhere the straight ahead commercial rock of ‘The Uncanny Valley’ or ‘82’ work on another level. This acts merely to emphasise the eclectic nature of the album as a whole and the fact that not only does the lyrical concept cover the whole gamut of human emotions but ‘House Of Gold & Bones Part II’ also brilliantly combines several music genres with an accessibility that will ensure continued rock radio success.