Stone Sour Audio Secrecy

There are two sides to everybody's personality: pleasant and unpleasant. If abrasive metal brigade Slipknot are vocalist Corey Taylor's aggro side, Stone Sour's complacent radio rock finds him desperately struggling to push that appealing side increasingly into the mainstream. To that end, the band's third full-length, Audio Secrecy, is their most desperate attempt yet. While there's nothing extraordinarily wrong with these 14 tunes, there's also nothing redeeming. Slipping further down the hole of bland corporate rock, the majority of the tracks are incredibly flat and predictable, namely syrupy ballad "Say You'll Haunt Me," a limp-wristed affair one would expect from Nickelback, not Stone Sour. Surely poised to overtake the airwaves with its pre-programmed heaviness for people who think they're extreme and mass appeal madness, Audio Secrecy drives increases the divide between Slipknot and Stone Sour fans while reasserting an obvious truth: this is actually Taylor's unpleasant side. (Roadrunner)