Wednesday, October 24, 2012

House of Gold & Bones Part 1

Upon finding myself in the mood to update this blog, I asked myself, "why not go for the album trifecta?" I had no rebuttal, so here's today's suggestion.

Album: House of Gold & Bones Part 1
Artist: Stone Sour

This might be Stone Sour's most ambitious project to date. Most notably, aside from the unique packaging and comic book/movie potential, it's on two discs, the second to be released next spring.

For anyone already familiar with Stone Sour, this album is a kind of a throwback to their earlier works, in terms of the heaviness of some of the tracks. However, their evolution since those beginning days is very obvious at times, resulting in what I think is the blend most harder rock bands should strive for. 

All-around, the instrumentation is phenomenal. Roy Mayorga's drumming is intense and precise, Jim Root and Josh Rand's guitar work is intricate and moving, Corey Taylor's vocals are powerful and emotional, and none of that is surprising in the least. 

Although Stone Sour (and Corey Taylor in particular) have a very distinctive sound, nothing on this record felt like a cookie cutter copy of any of their previous works. While undeniably reminiscent of some of their older releases at times, everything is fresh without having fallen into an entirely new direction. 

Some standout tracks include;
• Taciturn
• Gone Sovereign
• My Name Is Allen
• The Travelers - Part 1
• The Travelers - Part 2
• Tired
• Last of the Real

To be honest, I haven't had as much time to listen to this record as I would've liked. From the few play-throughs that I've gotten, those were the songs that stood out to me the most. Take those only as a starting point though, because Stone Sour has produced something awfully amazing here, and you won't want to miss a single second of it. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Transit of Venus

I don't always post about albums back-to-back, but when I do, I post about mind-blowingly-amazingly-awesome albums.

Album: Transit of Venus
Artist: Three Days Grace

It's been far too long since I've waited for a record to drop from months in advance. And although waiting all summer was challenging, the end result was most definitely worth it.

When Three Days Grace released their lead single "Chalk Outline" in August, my already high expectations for their album reached new heights. As a band, they were clearly capable of once again achieving greatness, and when October 2nd came around, they absolutely did.

With Transit of Venus, this group has seemingly found the middle ground between staying true to their own style while also expanding to try something new. Without sacrificing the core emotional, grungy sound that characterized their past releases, they were able to entertain some new concepts, including synths and keyboards. I know that might signal a sell-out to many people, but here that's completely not the case.

The slogan for the album was: "Some things will never happen again in your life time," in homage to the event the album derived its name from as well as the impact the band was hoping to achieve on the musical industry. With their clean, yet still heavy, sound from the vocals to the guitars to the drums to the keyboards, Three Days Grace truly seems to have captured the essence that slogan imparted. 

Some standout tracks include;
• Sign of the Times
• Chalk Outline
• The High Road
• Operate
• Anonymous
• Misery Loves My Company
• Give In to Me (A Michael Jackson cover)
• Happiness
• Give Me a Reason
• Time That Remains
• Expectations
• Broken Glass
• Unbreakable Heart

Anyone already familiar with this release will be quick to note that I just listed all of the songs off of the album. Well, that's just my way of telling you that if you're a fan of Three Days Grace or of rock in general, you would be wise to make listening to this entire album part of your future plans. I'm just saying.