Overall Score: 10/10 Versatility: 10/10 Contagion: 10/10 Emotion: 10/10 Pros: A beautiful showcase of Stone Sour's abilities Cons: The inevitable end of tracks
Hailing a brand new generation of fluidity, Stone Sour’s sixth record ‘Hydrograd’ is a beautiful rollercoaster of intrigue, intimidation and intensity.
A Stone Sour record that opens with the words “hello you bastards” is a Stone Sour record worth its weight in gold. If the sneaky wordplay of ‘Taipei Person Allah Tea’ wasn’t enough, its relentless chugging and contagious energy will be. While wielding a lot more screaming than before, ‘Knievel Has Landed’ still holds their depth and complexity at its heart – within minutes, ‘Hydrograd’ is already leagues above anything Nickelback could imagine.
‘Hydrograd’ boldly and successfully blurs the lines between Stone Sour and their metal alter ego Slipknot – as the utterly infectious title track cries, “This hell is nothing new.” The revolutionary lead single ‘Fabuless’ takes its lighter predecessor to ‘Gray Chapter’-era Slipknot as the darkness creeps in. Similarly, ’Whiplash Pants’ flings its weight around with reckless abandon and it certainly wouldn’t feel out of place in amongst ‘Iowa’. As abhorrently horrific as its title suggests, ‘Somebody Stole My Eyes’ is as intense and self-assured as ‘Vol. 3’, even the solemn depth of ‘When The Fever Broke’ proves to be beautifully ‘Vermillion’-esque.
Stone Sour have always delivered heartfelt honesty with precision and poise, fortunately ‘Hydrograd’ is no exception. Corey’s voice cracks with bitter, beautiful emotion through ‘Song 3’ – “when I’m dying for you, I’ve never felt so alive” paints a thousand pictures. The subdued, helpless tones of ‘The Witness Trees’ neatly offset its assertive electric solos, standing tall alongside the playful yet embittered melody of ‘Rose Red Violent Blue’. The most poignant moments, however, belong to the wistful heartbreak of ballad ‘St Marie’, undoubtedly due to as much love and respect as ‘Hesitate’ and ‘Through the Glass’.
Somewhat tirelessly visiting a fresh vibe with every single track, ‘Hydrograd’ is a risk-taking gem for Stone Sour and Slipknot fans alike. If this is what Nickelback Lite sounds like, who the fuck needs Nickelback?
‘Hydrograd’ is out tomorrow via Roadrunner Records.