Stone Sour – Stone Sour (2002)

Nu Metal is fairly recent a musical movement, hence the name. It is basically a modern day heavy metal movement with mega drop-tuned guitars and mainly percussive sounds. Bands like Korn come to most people’s minds with this genre, but don’t forget Stone Sour though. The band released this album after a long period on/off as a band in 2002, and no doubt was immediately seen as the up and coming of the Nu Metal movement. The group had already been prevalent in the metal scene for years, but this is a great effort which gave them recognition in the music world regardless. Notably, the group had some former members of Slipknot in their ranks.

So from the start, we have Get Inside. This album is really heavy straight up. Like, mega. The sound is immediate and cranked to full. It’s a great way to start your day if you enjoy really heavy metal music. The music is inspired by metal greats, such as Metallica. But it sounds far more demonic.

The next piece Orchids is groovetastic. This is a band of variety, compared to some thrash metal and death metal bands out there. It’s good to hear such inspiration, even in the heaviest of music. It goes into a quiet midsection, before returning to full volume to surprise you.

Cold Reader has some brilliant guitar work. One thing that is underappreciated about metal guitarists, in general, is how excellent the guitar work is. Even at these tempos, the guitar work is very good. Something to keep an ear out for. There is a brilliant use of the “f” word here in the song, and if only people could say it like this every time that they used it, the world would be a better place.

Blotter has a really weird intro of someone who sounds possessed on an answering machine message at 7AM, before diving into a fairly average song. It feels a little weaker here, but it’s still Nu Metal to the max.

The next song Choose is much better than the previous song, starting off with a keyboard-based groove, before going into a riff-heavy piece. It is more songy and consistent than you’d think. A great Nu Metal song.

After that, we have Monolith, a slow piece with some awesome drum work here. The words refer to anti-religious sacrifice, so quite simply if you are a fan of Hillsong, do not listen to Nu Metal. It’s likely satanic for the most part. The guitar solo sounds halfway between Kirk Hammett and Yngwie Malmsteen.

Inhale comes next, and has more of a progressive chord melody than the other songs. It’s a good song with almost a singalong chorus for the most. It then goes into some manic screaming. It’s almost pop music upon listening. It’s no surprise it was released as a single.

Bother is a melodic and melancholic piece which is even more pop. It features, unusually for this music vocals, strings and acoustic guitar, nothing else. It was written and performed solo by singer Corey Taylor but was later attributed as an effort by Stone Sour. It’s really beautiful listening.

The follow-up Blue Study returns to Nu Metal territory on the album. It has some classy screaming on this particular song. The screaming on this album is very close to the emotional screaming that Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails did in the 1990s. But unlike Trent Reznor, Stone Sour are directly following a Nu Metal mission, no mistake about it.

After that, we have Take A Number which features more prominent bass lines in the song where Corey Taylor goes from modest singing to screaming maniac in a short time. It’s Nirvana-ish in that respect, and it loosely follows Grunge music in that respect.

Idle Hands is a great song. No doubt about it. In fact, it’s songs like these which combine many different elements of different genres of music and place them into Nu Metal. If you listen closely, there are rock, punk and many other influences in the tracks made. Even some disco like sensibilities exists here.

Tumult is a headbanging piece for Nu Metallers. It’s rather explicit but involves keyboards, sex sounds and loads of screaming vocals. It’s super intense, particularly at the end of the song. Not bad if you want to go crazy.

The last piece Omega is the funniest thing on the record, although there are humourous moments elsewhere too. It’s actually a spoken word piece which features Corey Taylor drunk doing some rambling. It’s a must listen for a laugh. More bands should do this sort of thing. It’s about the failure of government.

This is a cult classic amongst Nu-Metal fans, but there is more musical variety than you would think. It’s not a bad listen, despite the fact many people do not enjoy Nu Metal. But if you want to receive an audio assault (metaphorically of course) this is a great way to experience it. And unlike Metallica, it actually can scare kids away. Recently Stone Sour have re-released this album remastered, with some additional songs that are just as good. If you like this sort of music, ensure you keep an eye out for that one.

The musical equivalent of a horror film and no Slayer don’t come close to that.

6/10

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