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Stone Sour in the UK
with Saliva

By Rachael Reardon

With the controversy of Jim Root, Corey Taylor and Joey Jordison all starting (or more returning to) bands outside of the multi-million selling 'Nu-Metal' horde, Slipknot, metal fans all over either waited impatiently in anticipation for what was to invade their stereos next, or tutted in disapproval praying for the members to "get back to what's important". 

With the clown (Shawn Crahan) voicing his negative views on these so called "Side- Projects", Stone sour and Murderdolls, and the members in question insisting that they are "proper band(s)", this had to be checked out to see what all the fuss was about. Both Stone Sour and Murderdolls (formerly the Rejects) began before the impetuous creation of Slipknot, and this brought an excitable intrigue as to what we were to expect. Is this simply Slipknot part 1, or something more sinister? Fans were overwhelmed at the electrifying Glam Rock Jordison launched at them like grenades, when Murderdolls toured the UK a couple of months back. 

It's only by February 2003 that the UK gets their first headlined tour by Stone Sour. While the crowd have earlier visions of the 'Knot, puking and fighting onstage, screaming lyrics, ridiculously loud drum beats and riffs that even the average 11 year old would recognise, due to the 'fashion' of Nu-Metal right now, no one truly knows what to expect. As much as the crowd tonight are itching like f*** to see Stone Sour, the waiting is the fun part. Only time will tell. 

Signed to Island records along with CKY and Injected, the first and only support band tonight, Saliva, have come to become better known in the UK and to promote their new album “Back into your System”. 

Widely known for their collaborations with Nikki Sixx on “Rest In Pieces” and Chad Kroeger on “Hero”, Saliva doesn’t disappoint tonight with their eloquently epic tales of love and spiritual journey through life. The sound heard from the stage is a concoction of many styles inclusive of hip hop, metal edged roars and harmonies from lyricist Josey Scott. 

Gracing us with “Weight of The World” from “Back Into Your System” and “Your Disease” from previous album ‘Every Six Seconds’, Saliva are defiantly great musicians and they not so much impress, but do indeed satisfy the audience here tonight. 

Saliva fit into the emotional rock genre that so many other bands are also part of, and because of this, although their sound may be worth listening to, its nothing new. If you’re after a feeling of enlightenment and stimulation to your senses when you hear a radical new band, I doubt you’ll find it here. However, if you simply want some music to have a jolly good rock too, Saliva is your band. 

With lighting effects to make you turn epileptic or at least temporarily lose your sight, Stone Sour are greeted like Kings as they bound on stage. Exuding an aura of decorum – without any arrogance – and a high degree of kudos, its difficult to think of Stone Sour without the thought of Slipknot worming its way into your head. 

Stone Sour seem to be treated as having achieved so much already, and, in so little time from getting back together. However they have, after all, had a major head start with the likes of guitarist James Root and vocalist Corey Taylor being commercially known worldwide as members of “nu-metal” band Slipknot. 

Maybe it’s the hype of seeing their idols in a band that were making music way before the ‘knot, or maybe it’s the intimacy of such a small venue, since that of Slipknot’s last time in Manchester at the M.E.N but the excitement at Manchester Academy is at its pinnacle. 

With little chat in between songs, Stone Sour opt to perform all of the songs on their concept self-titled debut album, starting with first single “Get Inside”. With its rampage of guitars and audible double bass from drummer Joel Ekman, ‘Get Inside’ is one hell of a single and it hypes up the audience effortlessly. With his exhilarating barrage of lyrics and ever fluctuating vocals, its easy to see that Taylor has a lot more abject despair and anger to get out of his system other than “f*** it all! f*** this World! f*** everything that you stand for!” 

‘Cold Reader’ is a prime song to show the oscillating sounds of Taylor’s voice, proceeding with his harmonic spoken word. As the build up to the chorus ascents, and the heavy chug of the riff kicks in, Taylor growls “NO! I WON’T! I CAN’T! NOT ANYMORE! ONE MORE TIME AND I THINK ILL f***ING DIE!” 

Picture ‘An American Werewolf in London” and you’ve pretty much got what dimensions of thunderous growling Taylor rebukes at the crowd tonight. 

Cue ‘Inhale’, available to download at www.stonesour.com. Sounding reasonably ballad-like for what has been heard from Stone Sour before, Inhale begins with a woeful guitar riff, succeeded by a predictable roar. Listening to a story about a “broken man”, a lot of heartfelt lyrics are heard here, not only from the words but also from the disconsolate tone of front man Corey Taylor. Maybe this is in fact because, we later find “Come one and all and see what happened…that broken man is me”. 

Completed by sure fire screams of consternation, the band retire from the stage, leaving Taylor to grab a guitar and modestly sit on a stool, middle stage. The crowd knows what is coming. 

With the first strum of chords from “Bother” the lighting dims and the wavering lighters among the crowd are a go-go. From the soundtrack for recent Spiderman movie, Bother is a song that connects you with the artist. As embarrassing as it sounds – coming from a movie soundtrack - Bother really does affect your body in a way that makes you weak with emotion. The crowd sing along the echo’s of “You don’t need to bother, I don’t need to be (I don’t need to be)”, the mosh pit stops, while instead, they choose to sway along to this mournful ballad. 

As the band resumes their places, Stone Sour unveils the rancor of ‘Blue Study’. An intricate drumbeat leads up to the soft and euphonious melodies of Taylor and masterful guitarists Josh Rand and Jim Root. The rout, husky sound of the chorus kicks in and with back drops of faint screams, double bass and audible pulsation of drums ‘Blue Study’ is a song of perfection that gives Stone Sour the credibility they deserve. 

Ending with spoken word number “Omega”, the crowd are left in deep thought at the words of Taylor – “Do u serve a purpose or purposely serve…Government is another word to say better than you…its like ice but no pick, a murder charge that won’t stick it’s like a whole other world, where u can smell the food but u cant touch the food, what luck, fascism u can vote for… isn’t that sweet” A song to let the audience enter the mind of the artist, ‘Omega’ is a carefully crafted mystery, anxious to be unraveled.

With a great ability for delivering emotional rock and an oppressive, formidable metal edge Stone Sour perform brilliantly tonight. However, with their equality of lyrical tones and aforementioned riffs and beats, you can only feel they are capable of so much more than the predictable and consistent music that we are presented tonight, and indeed on their debut album.


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