I’ve been listening to Audio Secrecy (Deluxe Edition) by Stone Sour non-stop for a while now, and I’m just going to say, in case you don’t want to read through this whole review:
This album absolutely propels Stone Sour to new heights.
That may sound a little bold, but it’s true. This is a band with diversity, which has shone through on their last two releases; their self-titled debut in 2003 and Come What(ever) May in 2006. However, I feel that Audio Secrecy is their most ambitious work yet, and it certainly is rewarding. The sound is tight and the variety is awesome. The lyrical content is much more real and mature than Corey’s work in Slipknot. All that fake rage and angst gets old fast, but you won’t find any of it here. Audio Secrecy’s themes and issues are sincere, like Corey wrote them from his own experiences, rather than just writing for the sake of writing because he needed to fill out an album. Mind you, that might not be true at all, but that’s how it feels.
The instrumentation is top-notch. The band knows how to pull off everything from chugging, head-pounding riffs to some beautiful, smooth ballads. James Root does an outstanding job as guitarist, and is allowed to be creative in a way that just isn’t seen in Slipknot, where he constantly gets shat on by Mick Thompson. His riffs are original and catchy, and some of his solos are outstanding.
Corey Taylor delivers some amazing vocals as always, showing that he can pull off some brutal sounding grunts and gutturals, but also incredibly clean, soaring choruses. He proves again and again that he has one of the most refined and flexible voices in the business.
The first single from the album, “Say You’ll Haunt Me”, is a little simple and straightforward compared to the other songs on the album. However, I guess every band needs one or two songs that are a little more mainstream-sounding in order to gain popularity. But, in saying this, it has grown on me a lot since I first heard the song. I heard it before the album had been released, and I got worried that the rest of the album would be much the same, and that they were trying to break into the mainstream by dumbing down their music. Trust me when I say that they haven’t, and I think they simply needed a single, which was probably a smart thing to do, really.
The bottom line is, this band is all about diversity and variety, and Audio Secrecy is their finest example of that so far. It shows off how flexible each member of the band can be, and is a great album to just listen to over and over again. It demands to be heard.
And if you can, do yourself a favour and get the Deluxe Edition. The couple of extra tracks are worth it.
Unfortunately I don’t have a fancy little star system, but if I did, I’d give Audio Secrecy an 8/10.
- Digital (Did You Tell)
- Nylon 6/6
- Home Again
(Every song on the album is great, but those are some personal favourites)