|Stone Sour - 'Audio Secrecy' (Roadrunner)|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Monday, 06 September 2010 05:49|
Having started a thread over on our Uber Rock Soldiers messageboard recently about bands that passed you by first time around but now you actually like, I have to admit to the fact that Slipknot would be pretty high up on that list for myself. When the psycho (social) troop first unveiled themselves to the world I just never got the attraction of the band's music, I'd also seen them live more than just a few times, but always managed to drift off mid set and ultimately ended up leaving early. Then around 2006 I heard Stone Sour's 'Come What(ever) May' album and suddenly the whole Slipknot thing made perfect sense to me, and it also became evident that Corey Taylor really did have an ear for melody after all it was just normally hidden under a boiler suit.
Well here we are at Stone Sour's third album, and it is without doubt the band's most commercial sounding album to date. Produced by Nick Raskulinecz of Foo Fighters, Deftones and Rush fame the fourteen tracks that make up 'Audio Secrecy' are polished chunks of arena rock that are a natural progression for the band's dynamic, but what will those expecting a more full on assault think of tracks like 'Dying', 'Hesitate' and 'Pieces' I wonder? All of which see Corey and crew fully immersed in what can only be described as "hit single territory". 'Audio Secrecy' itself kicks off in fine style with the self titled instrumental segueing perfectly into the Slayer staccato riff-fest that is indeed the band's 'Mission Statement', this fiery opening is followed by the modern metal romp of 'Digital (Did You Tell)' which has a great refrain that stays with you long after the track has turned into the much lesser animal of the album's lead single 'Say You'll Haunt Me'.
My reference to Nick Raskulinecz's previous work in particular his production of Rush was a deliberate association to 'Audio Secrecy's' mid section where 'Let's Be Honest' manages to meld an epic sprawling sound into some of Corey's more "day job" type vocals whilst 'Unfinished' and 'Nylon 6/6' manage to do the same but in reverse, giving a Slipknot sounding riff a more commercial vocal melody, all with maximum studio sheen and precision.
'Miracles' treads a fine line between John Lennon-esque pop and Pink Floyd infused trip rock. Whilst 'Imperfect' and 'Threadbare' recall a very sweaty afternoon I spent with an acoustic Corey at last years Sonisphere Festival. If I'm honest this latter coupling also means that 'Audio Secrecy' comes to a close with a bit of a whimper rather than an explosion, which is even more frustrating when the full on rhythmic bluster of track number twelve (the ironically titled 'The Bitter End') would have made the ideal track to have sent the kids off with a smile on their faces all eager to get in the pit at the band's upcoming UK arena jaunt with Avenged Sevenfold.
Overall then 'Audio Secrecy' is a good, but not a 'great' album, it manages to tick all the boxes that you would expect it to, but rather ironically given that Stone Sour got me into them in the first place I'd much rather be cranking out an all new Slipknot album right now.