This list probably puts Stone Sour’s lauded sixth record, Hydrograd, far lower than many fans
would like it to be. And in many ways that’s understandable: by its own merits,
the album is a fun one, embodying frontman and opinion-possessing
meme generator Corey Taylor’s anti-establishment attitude and dry wit down to a tee.
As many critics and commentators have pointed out by this
juncture, Hydrograd is also a violent throwback to the state of metal in the early ‘90s, possessing clear
influences from that decade’s MTV-style radio rock in the music of cuts like “Fabuless”
and “Song #3”. It’s a massive bite of musical nostalgia that many metalheads
fell for hook, line and sinker. Also, the album was hugely important to maintaining metal’s
relevance in 2017, becoming a surprising chart smasher, peaking at number five
on the UK’s Official Album Charts and number eight on the Billboard 200.
With these many great things going for it, then, how come Hydrograd fails to crack this list’s
Unfortunately, context is Stone Sour’s undoing.
Hydrograd is the
follow-up to what many consider to be Stone Sour’s greatest ever musical feat,
the progressive, intriguing, Tool-and-Alice in Chains-inspired House of Gold and Bones (2012/13) duology,
which integrated alternative metal stylings, a plethora of diverse instruments
and a fascinating narrative into the band’s music. Hydrograd does none of these things, feeling far more
straight-forward and mainstream-friendly.
So, by itself Hydrograd
is awesome! With context… not as much.