A mixed bag from the masked Slipknot frontman
After being shocked to hear that Corey was unmasked in this little side-project, I was intrigued to hear the first album and was not disappointed. I felt that Stone Sour were much more serious and musical than their masked counterparts. I was quite eager to review their new album. Despite 4 years between albums, the sound is fairly similar with a good mix of softer acoustic tracks, hard rock and metal.
"30/30-150", like it's counterpart "Get Inside" immediately grabs you with it's fast, melodic but hard drum beat, coupled with Corey's median vocals - they aren't grunting or mellow as they are in some tracks, but solid, growly yet still discernible. It was definitely the obvious choice for the single release.
"Come what(ever) may" is the obligatory, political track. It sounds weaker than 30/30-150 but has some interesting lyrics which seem to be targeting some national leader, though Corey doesn't tell us who.
"Sillyworld" is one of the acoustic-sounding tracks on the album, with a soft edge throughout. It certainly shows Corey's vocal talent. The intensity picks up mid-song and builds to a heavy beat.
"Made of Scars" caught my attention. The song seems reminiscent of Korn for some reason. Perhaps its because of verses which seem like a children's poem. It isn't the heaviest track on the album, but it is certainly catchy with some solid guitar riffs. Some of the effects on Corey's voice are interesting with some nicely timed echoes and chorusing.
"Reborn" cranks the tempo up a notch and is much more metal, with growling lyrics and a fast drum-beat. Along with "Made of Scars", I feel it could be the next choice for a single release. "Your God" slows things down a little more but doesn't sound as strong as some of the other songs on the album.
"Through Glass" has received some attention already. This song is even softer than "Sillyworld" which seems strange coming for a man who rouses all these slipknot hooded ghouls to heights of metal ecstasy. "Zzyzx Rd." closes the album on sad note; a song about dealing with a mental illness. This track opens with a nice piano piece; an odd thing to hear on an album which I suspected would be mostly metal. It's a moving track and certainly gives the album variety.
I have to say, this album doesn't feel as strong as the first. Some might consider Corey's lyrics as Emo, others might consider them simply too tame. It isn't as hard-hitting as Slipknot and although some tracks will make you move, probably only one or two songs will stick in your memory. The guitar and drum-work seem fine, but that's the problem. They are good but not too memorable. This is not to say there are absolutely no interesting riffs, catchy choruses, or head-banging bass lines. The skills are there and there is quite a lot of variety to the album which speaks volumes about Corey's vocal skills. It just won't blow you away quite as much as it might have.