Hi and welcome to yet another blog entry for this week. Today is the second anniversary of the release of the first part of House Of Golden Bones by the hard rock band Stone Sour, lead by Slipknot singer Corey Taylor.
Both parts of House Of Golden Bones are a concept double album, which is about a character known as The Human. I’m not going to get into the story because it would take me forever to write about all of it and I don’t want to make a novel out of a blog post. Let’s just say that the lyrics all ty together in the second part and some of the music does too. For example: The Travelers, Parts 1 and 2 and The Conflagration have some moments when the music and words are the same. Just listen to both of these tracks and you will hear what I am talking about. The same is true with A Roomer Of Skin and Do Me A Favour, as well as the lead single from Pt. 1, Absolute Zero and the title track and the last song of Pt. 2, House Of Golden Bones. One other thing worth mentioning is the track Ru486 is on Pt. 1 and the title is chanted by multiple voices at the end of The Conflagration and the beginning of The House Of Golden Bones.
This doesn’t mean that Corey and the rest of the band are running out of idea’s. This is just a way to link everything together and most concept albums have moments in particular songs that sound similar to each other, with some of the same music or words. For example: when pink Floyd released The Wall in 1979, there are certain songs which have passages which are similar and use the same notes to link certain songs to each other thematically. Hay You and The Trial use the same key and use the same 3 note melody at points in those songs. Also, The Wall seems to end and start with a musical passage which is started at the end and is continued at the beginning of the album. If you have it in your iTunes library put it on repeat and listen to the last song and it will go right into In The Flesh on Side 1. You will notice how seamless it is.
In the case of House Of Golden Bones, the song itself and Gon Sovereign start with the same D flat chord. The difference is that Gone Sovereign fades in and The House Of Golden Bones fades out at the end. I took a listen to them both one right after the other on iTunes and I hear how something as subtle, as the beginning of one album and the end of another can link both albums together. You could also say that melancholy And The infinite Sadness by The Smashing pumpkins also uses the same or a similar technique. The title track being played on piano and the end of Good Night use the same chord sequence.
Another example in recent memory is hypnotize and Mesmerize by System Of A Down in 2005. Hypnotize was released first in May of that year and began with a song called Soldier Side as the intro and the second album Mesmerize ended with the song called Soldier Side as a full song. Those two songs were played together on the radio when mesmerize was just about to be released on a “World Premier” special about both albums in November of that year. The other thing to keep in mind is that the song Lonely Day, which comes before the full length song “Soldier side” ends with the same guitar feedback which also ends the intro version of the same song on Hypnotize, before going into B.Y.O.B. If you listen to either of the two versions of Soldier Side together or Lonely Day and the full length song it is very clever how the sequencing was done and how those songs were mixed and linked together. Anyway, I digress
The first part of House Of Golden Bones was released 2 years ago today and the second part dropped on April 9th 2013. I remember that because I had a dentist appointment that day and I had bought 3 CD’s that day: The Way Of The Fist by Five Finger Death Punch, the self-titled debut album by Device and of course, House Of Golden Bones Pt. 2. I also had a chance to hear it in its entirety the night before on Youtube. Unfortunately, it was in mono and the sound quality was not even close to being MP3 or better. But, I can’t complain because I got to hear it before I bought it and that was a first for me.
As for songs that I like that didn’t get a lot of attention, I took a liking to: A Roomer Of Skin, My Name Is Allen and The Travelers, Pt. 1 from House Of Golden Bones Pt. 1. From the second part I like: Black John, Stalemate, The Conflagration and The House Of Golden Bones. I also had no problem with the singles that were released off both albums too. My favourite of the singles is Absolute Zero because it was played on the radio and it rocks. For some reason Stone Sour’s biggest songs are the softer ones and that’s fine but that isn’t the only strong point of the band. After all, Corey Taylor sings for Slipknot and Jim Root also plays guitar for them too. Now Jim is out of Stone Sour and someone else is currently a touring second guitarist. I guess we will just have to wait and see how things shake out after Slipknot is done with .5: The Gray Chapter.
There is also a Canadian connection to the two albums, in that they were both produced by David Bottrill, who is from Dundas Ontario. He has worked with such artists as: Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Dream Theater, Staind, God Smack, Mudvayne and Tool, to name a few. When I heard he was the producer I knew this would be interesting because of his work with Tool and in particular, one of my favourite Tool albums Ænima from 1996. I liked how the drums sounded on it and I had a feeling that House Of Golden Bones would sound different because Stone Sour is a different band from Tool, obviously. I also didn’t think they would go for the long songs and progressive rock that Tool went for on Ænima. However, they did use samples and spoken word passages on some songs. For example: at the beginning of Ru486 there is a piece of a record or something that sounds like one, for patients who are trying to relax. This however, tells the patient to become tense and very nervous. I don’t know where they got it from but I thought it was brilliant, how they did that with that record.
Another example of this is at the beginning of Black John, where there is some strange music and at one point it mutates into what sounds like a broken record, for a few seconds before the band kicks in with the song. I’m sure that Dave had an influence on that and the band seemed fine with it.
House Of Golden Bones may not have been Stone Sour’s most successful albums but it did spell a turning point in the band, in that they were the last 2 albums with Jim Root, before he was fired in 2014, for some reason. I don’t understand it because Corey and Jim are also in Slipknot too. Was it a decision made by band majority and Corey was overruled? What happened? I heard that he was fired because he wanted to cut down on touring so work with Slipknot could progress faster and he was fired over the phone. I wonder what the relationship between him and Corey Taylor is like now? I guess time will tell.
Anyway, if you don’t have either parts of House Of Golden Bones I strongly encourage you to purchase one or both because the music and the story are very interesting.