Every Stone Sour album ranked from worst to best

Stone Sour
(Image credit: Cooking Vinyl)

Since releasing their debut in 2002, Stone Sour have proved they’re much more than Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor’s “other band”. Anchored by the friendship/ musical partnership of Corey and guitarist Josh Rand, the band’s mainstream-eyeballing hard rock and radio metal has flourished and expanded, taking them in surprising directions. Here are their albums, ranked by greatness.

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6. Audio Secrecy (2010)

In 2018 Corey Taylor famously called Audio Secrecy, the only “hiccup” of his career. Recorded under persistent pressure from their label to turn in a record with mainstream inclinations, Stone Sour’s third album is the sound of a band backed into a corner. The record has its moments - the mammoth Mission Statement is the first time the band sounded truly stadium-sized - but the whole album lacks the grit that defines their take on clenched-teeth anthemia.

5. Stone Sour (2002)

Stone Sour’s debut is beloved by fans, but sonically, it represents a band finding their feet. Although Bother packs an emotional heft even now, there’s a lot of stodgy filler weighing the album down, while chug-fests Get Inside, Blotter and Take A Number veer far too closely to the melodic fire Slipknot would capture on Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses). It would take another album for the band to assert their own identity.

4. Hydrograd (2017) 

The band’s first, and so far only, album following the strangely acrimonious departure of guitarist Jim Root in 2014, is their punchiest and most accessible to date. It’s also their most uneven, with head-banging, made-for-radio anthems, Taipei Person/ Allah Tea and Song #3, sitting uncomfortably against more forgettable fare, such as the directionless Mercy and The Witness Trees. A mixed bag that doesn’t always hit the bullseye. 

3. Come What(ever) May (2006)

Viewed by many as their ‘classic’ album, Stone Sour’s second record transformed them from casual side project to formidable force. The band have released more ambitious and accomplished music since, but Come What(ever) May still stands up today. It’s stacked with bangers; ferocious opener 30/30-150, Reborn, the iconic Through Glass, while climactic piano ballad Zzyzx Rd. proved once and for all there was more to the band than Slipknot-lite riffery.

2. House Of Gold And Bones Pt 2 (2013)

Stone Sour nailed everything on their two-part cerebral opus, House Of Gold And Bones. Revolving around the concept of a troubled man at the crossroads of his life, Part 2 was the heavier, darker of the instalments. Drenched in a haunting melancholy, tracks like the visceral Peckinpah, Stalemate and Gravesend are rife with savage self loathing. Less accessible than Part 1 but no less essential listening.

1. House Of Gold And Bones Part 1 (2012)

Stone Sour have never sounded as hungry and alive as they do on House Of Gold And Bones Part 1. Every aspect of the band’s sound is nailed here: the metallic fury of Gone Sovereign, Absolute Zero’s swaggering stadium rock and Tired’s huge radio-friendly sing-a-long choruses. Meanwhile with The Travellers, Pt. 1, the band create a genuinely stirring piece of americana. Their greatest moment.

Dannii Leivers

Danniii Leivers writes for Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog, The Guardian, NME, Alternative Press, Rock Sound, The Line Of Best Fit and more. She loves the 90s, and is happy where the sea is bluest.