Audio Secrecy (Special Edition)
Stone Sour is Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor's first band, though they often get dismissed as a side project. Their third studio album finds the GRAMMY-nominated quintet pulling their alt-metal sound back into the both the '90s and the '70s as "Mission Statement" opens with guitar distortion steeped in the muddy sludge of Seattle grunge while the infectious "Say You'll Haunt Me" plays with the catchy, ascending melodies of an old Boston song. Unlike their 2002 eponymous debut and 2006's Come What(ever) May, 2010's Audio Secrecy bares no spoken-word track. But they've honed their songwriting skills, leaning less on big rock riffs and successfully experimenting with a layered approach to the architecture of tunes like "Hesitate," which begins with single notes accompanying Taylor's voice before arpeggios and a rhythm section are stacked on to build a ballad that all comes together by the chorus. The end result sounds a bit like Asia's "Heat of the Moment" (in a good way). "Nylon 6/6" brings back the rawk, as does "Hate Not Gone," easily the heaviest tune of the three bonus tracks.