CD Review of Come What(ever) May by Stone Sour

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Come What(ever) May
starstarstarstarno star Label: Roadrunner Records
Released: 2006
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That Stone Sour is the “side project” of Slipknot members Corey Taylor and James Root will inevitably turn off haters of Slipknot, one of the leading “love ‘em or hate ‘em” bands on the scene. Stone Sour released their self-titled debut in 2002, and while it was a solid effort, fans and critics alike barked that the resemblance to Slipknot was too obvious, thus leading many to peg the project as a bunch of hacks in search of a quick buck off a marketable name.

Those folks will now have to eat their words as Stone Sour is back and more mature than ever. There’s no mistaking that Taylor still has an axe to grind lyrically on the bulk of the tracks, but the musical diversity on this record is truly enthralling. Ranging from bone-crushing, Slipknot-esque riffs (“30/30-150” and “Hell & Consequences”) to downright gorgeous acoustics (“Zzyzx Rd.” and “Through Glass”), Stone Sour proves that they are the real deal on Come What(ever) May.

What one will come to realize as they make their way through the record is just how audacious of a release this is for Stone Sour. It is indeed an amazing feat when a band can satisfy their core audience whilst attracting new fans, but Stone Sour should accomplish that with this album. The solid guitar work by Root and Josh Rand can pulverize your speakers but still make you turn an open ear to the beauty of their melodies. Their interplay on “Hell & Consequences,” coupled with the off-the-cuff solo outburst, is a highlight.

But Corey Taylor is ultimately the beating heart of the band. After reading complaints that it sounded like his voice was shot on Slipknot’s recent live release, 9.0: Live, I can safely report that it is not. Melding clean, distorted and scream vocals seamlessly, Taylor proves that he is a much more dynamic vocalist than any of us could have predicted. Lyrically the effort is satisfactory, but is does veer to metal cliché from time to time (You want the world to be free? / What the hell is free about it?)

Regardless, Come What(ever) May is one of the best sophomore efforts of recent memory and will completely blindside those who have the band pigeonholed as a Slipknot knockoff. This band is for real.

~Bill Clark