House of Gold & Bones – Part 1

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House of Gold & Bones – Part 1
Studio album by Stone Sour
Released October 22, 2012
Recorded March 27 – June 19, 2012 at Soundfarm Studios in Jamaica, Iowa, Metalworks Studios in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Genre Heavy metal, hard rock, alternative metal
Length 43:16
Label Roadrunner
Producer David Bottrill
Stone Sour chronology
Audio Secrecy
House of Gold & Bones – Part 1
House of Gold & Bones – Part 2
Singles from House of Gold & Bones – Part 1
  1. "Gone Sovereign/Absolute Zero"
    Released: August 24, 2012
  2. "Tired"
    Released: August 14, 2013

House of Gold & Bones – Part 1 is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Stone Sour, and is the first of two consecutive albums to feature the House of Gold & Bones concept. Its reprises are featured on the second House of Gold & Bones album, which was released on April 9, 2013. It is the first Stone Sour album without bass player Shawn Economaki, who left the band in 2012.


Stone Sour started working on the album on March 19, 2012[1] and Corey Taylor stated that the album would likely end up being a double album or concept album. It was later confirmed by the band that the songs would form a concept and would be released as two separate albums. Musically, Taylor also described the album's sound as "Pink Floyd's The Wall meets Alice in Chains' Dirt".[2] It was also revealed that bassist Shawn Economaki was no longer in the band and that his studio replacement was Rachel Bolan from Skid Row.

Plot summary[edit]

The Human is a ball of pure pain, stricken with impressions of being submerged in water and something drastic about to happen. He gradually gains consciousness, sensation by sensation. At once, he makes the decision to open his eyes and discovers that he is in a strange, dreamlike world with different, oddly-colored sky pockets and no buildings in sight. He suddenly hears a horde behind him, chasing him, and so he breaks into a sprint and arrives at the edge of a cliff. The Human sprints along the top edge of the cliff and eventually spots a small, decrepit building. Desperately seeking refuge, the Human opens the door, rushes inside, and flings it shut; the sounds of his pursuers are still audible outside. Gathering courage, the Human peers out of the building's window and finds that his pursuers are nowhere to be found.

Suddenly, a voice breaks the silence in the room. The Human turns around to find an almost shapeless thing wearing a cloak seated at a table, smoking a cigarette. The thing explains that there's been a rumor going around with regards to the Human's return to this place; rumors that he is going to change things. The thing eventually removes its cloak, revealing that it resembles the Human. The Human's doppelgänger reveals its name to be Allen, and angrily tells the Human that an event called the Conflagration is set to begin now that the Human has returned, and the two have some things to discuss before Black John and his Numbers – the Human's pursuers – return. The Human has no idea what the Conflagration is or what this strange world is, but, at Allen's prodding, realizes that he has vague memories of being in a world where things made sense before something went horribly wrong. Allen antagonistically teases that he has all the answers – teases that the Human needs him. Before fading into thin air, Allen reveals to the Human that in order to make it home, he must find the House of Gold and Bones before the Conflagration begins.

Thoroughly infuriated and puzzled, the Human exits the building and sets out along the cliff's edge, seeking a way down. While walking, he surveys the landscape and finds a forest in the valley below as well as a giant, crimson city on the horizon. He gets a strong feeling that House of Gold and Bones will be found in this city, so he makes this his destination. He eventually happens upon a set of large, steep stone stairs seemingly carved right down into the valley below the cliff. Cautiously, the Human makes his way down these stairs, and eventually reaches the bottom. Very suddenly, he hears a mob behind him once again. After a moment of hesitation, the Human becomes infuriated and turns around to face his pursuers. He finds the Numbers – a horde of zombie-like people – gathered around him, boxing him in, with a large, fierce leader – Black John. Black John asks the Human "RU486?", which strikes the Human as nonsense and serves to infuriate him even more. Enraged, the Human approaches the mob's leader and suddenly punches him in the face, throwing Black John backwards and stunning the entire group. Seizing the distraction as an opportunity, the Human breaks through a gap in the crowd and sprints away along a road, though he eventually finds that he is no longer being pursued.

Exhausted from the climb down and the sprint, the Human eventually stops along the road, lays down, and loses consciousness. He wakes up later that night and realises he is directly in front of the forest he spotted earlier. Allen appears, dressed in a mock Schutzstaffel uniform, and antagonizes the Human even more. Allen reveals that he is keeping an eye on the Human, as he cannot be left alone here. The Human decides to ignore Allen and starts for the forest, but in a fit of fury, Allen picks the Human up, demands respect, and then vanishes. Just as Allen vanishes, a new voice strikes the Human, and he turns to find a bearded man dressed in dark hunting clothes wearing a backpack. This man tells the Human that his name is Peckinpah, and says that he is going to the crimson city – called Red City – and agrees to accompany the Human there.

The pair sets out into the forest and are walking for a while before a long howl sounds. Peckinpah explains that the natives of this place are on edge, as they realize the Conflagration is at hand. Stunned by Peckinpah's knowledge of the Conflagration, the Human questions him. Peckinpah reveals that the Conflagration is a coming of age ceremony of sorts, but more importantly, it is a celebration of one person making choices and embracing change. The Human is clearly puzzled about how the Conflagration is tied to him, so Peckinpah reveals that the Human is the one who must choose in the Conflagration.

Peckinpah begins to explain further, but is interrupted by a chorus of maniacal laughter from Black John and the Numbers. Peckinpah explains that he and the Human must split up for the moment. He says that Black John's assignment is to transport the Human to Red City in such a devastated state that he would make the choices Black John prefers at the Conflagration. Peckinpah gives the Human a pill of Paris Green, explaining that it would knock him out while Black John and the Numbers bring him to Red City, thus saving the Human from their influence. Peckinpah then assures the Human that he will be there when he is needed, and then vanishes. The Human realizes that the Numbers are nearly on top of him now, so he consumes the Paris Green. He turns to find himself confronted by Black John, who grabs the Human by the throat and smashes him against a tree. The Human moans, and vague impressions of twisted figures and hands are the last thing he experiences before he blacks out.


On August 24, 2012, Stone Sour released both "Gone Sovereign" and "Absolute Zero".[3] On October 11, 2012, the band released a music video for "Gone Sovereign", that features their current tour bassist Johny Chow.[4]


House of Gold & Bones – Part 1 was released on October 22, 2012. It debuted at number-seven on the Billboard 200 music album charts, shipping an estimated 31,000 copies in its first week of release.[5]

The album has sold just under 130,000 copies in the United States[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 79/100[7]
Review scores
Source Rating 3.5/5 stars[8]
Allmusic 4/5 stars[9]
Artistdirect 5/5 stars[10]
Big Cheese 5/5[11]
Kerrang! 4/5 stars[citation needed]
Loudwire 4.5/5 stars[12]
Metal Hammer 8/10[citation needed]
Rock Sound 8/10[13]
Under the Gun 9/10[14]
Bracket and Bracket 96/100[15]

House of Gold and Bones – Part 1 received critical acclaim upon release. Rick Florino of Artistdirect stated "Ultimately, this is a milestone for Stone Sour and for modern rock music. It's on par with Alice in Chains' Dirt, Metallica's Master of Puppets, Queens of the Stone Age's Songs for the Deaf, Soundgarden's Superunknown, and any other game-changing albums you can think of," and rewarded the album 5 out of 5.[10]

Big Cheese also rated the album 5 out of 5, stating "Perhaps what's most immediate upon listening to 'House of Gold & Bones' is the sheer step up that Stone Sour have made as musicians. The likes of 'RU486' and 'Tired' simply would not have been possible if they'd been attempted by the band in their 2006 'Come What(ever) May' period. Simply astounding."[11]

Rock Sound from the UK gave the album 8 out of 10 and said "songs like roof-raising anthem 'Absolute Zero', the frenetic, thrashy 'RU 486' and acoustic lament 'Taciturn' deserve to be heard within the context of the entirety of this mightily ambitious, versatile record."[13]

Allmusic said of the album "the album follows an arc both thematically and sonically, with the intensity of the songs rising and falling in a way that feels more like a musical than an album of chest-thumping hard rock. This creates a nice dynamic between songs like the driving "My Name Is Allen" and its follow-up, the more contemplative and reflective "Taciturn," creating a palpable shift that comes through both lyrically and musically."

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Stone Sour

No. Title Length
1. "Gone Sovereign"   4:03
2. "Absolute Zero"   3:49
3. "A Rumor of Skin"   4:11
4. "The Travelers, Pt. 1"   2:26
5. "Tired"   4:11
6. "RU486"   4:22
7. "My Name Is Allen"   4:18
8. "Taciturn"   5:25
9. "Influence of a Drowsy God"   4:29
10. "The Travelers, Pt. 2"   3:01
11. "Last of the Real"   3:01
Total length:


Stone Sour
  • Corey Taylor − vocals, piano on "The Travelers, Pt. 2", writer for House of Gold & Bones short story
  • James Root − guitar
  • Josh Rand − guitar
  • Roy Mayorga − drums, synthesizer on "Gone Sovereign", "Absolute Zero", "Taciturn", and "Influence of a Drowsy God"
Additional musicians
  • Rachel Bolan − bass
  • Stubs − vocals on "RU486"
  • Lady − vocals on "RU486"
  • Truck − vocals on "RU486"
  • Sinner − vocals on "RU486"
  • Ty Reveen − voice of "Reveen the Impossiblist"
  • Kevin Fox − string arrangement (on "Travelers, Pt. 1" and "Tired"), cello
  • Karen Graves − violin
  • Kate Unrau − violin
  • Anna Redekop − viola
Technical personnel

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
Finnish Chart[16] 10
Official UK Top 40[17] 13
IRMA Irish Chart[18] 30
Japanese Albums Chart[19] 14
UK Rock Chart[20] 1
US Billboard 200[21] 6
US Billboard Hard Rock chart[21] 1


  1. ^ "Work Underway on a New Stone Sour Album". March 20, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET – New STONE SOUR Album Will Be Like PINK FLOYD's The Wall Meets ALICE IN CHAINS' Dirt". Retrieved April 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Gone Sovereign / Absolute Zero – Single by Stone Sour". iTunes. August 24, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Stone Sour – "Gone Sovereign" (Official Music Video)". Youtube. Stone Sour. October 11, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2012. 
  5. ^ "STONE SOUR's 'House of Gold & Bones – Part 2' Cracks U.S. Top 10". April 17, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  6. ^ April 17, 2013
  7. ^ "The House of Gold and Bones, Vol. 1 – Stone Sour". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ Grierson, Tim. "Stone Sour – 'House of Gold & Bones – Part 1' Review". Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b Florino, Rick (October 18, 2012). "Stone Sour: House of Gold and Bones Part 1 Album Review". Artistdirect. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Grayson, Tim. "Stone Sour:House of Gold and Bones Part 1". Big Cheese. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  12. ^ Childers, Chad (October 23, 2012). "Stone Sour – 'House of Gold & Bones Part 1' Review". Loudwire. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Newbound, Tim (October 17, 2012). "Stone Sour – House of Gold & Bones Part 1". Rock Sound. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  14. ^ Duffy, Grace (October 21, 2012). "REVIEW: STONE SOUR – HOUSE OF GOLD AND BONES – PART 1". Under the Gun. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  15. ^ Davis, Kyzer (December 26, 2012). "House of Gold and Bones Part 1 by Stone Sour". Bracket and Bracket. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "ストーン・サワーのCDアルバムランキング、ストーン・サワーのプロフィールならオリコン芸能人事典-ORICON STYLE". Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b

External links[edit]