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ALBUM REVIEW: Cast The First Stone – Ion Dissonance

After a period of silence, ION DISSONANCE have bounced back into the scene with their upcoming album, Cast The First Stone, due for release on November 18th via Good Fight Music. After such a long time, can the band deliver once more?

The album opens to an unforgiving and relentless start with Burdens, featuring vocalist Kevin McCaughey screeching “GET OUT OF MY HEAD” to kick off the album. Right off the bat this gives an energising and lightning-paced energy to the record, bringing an audial onslaught before your ears can recover from the initial blow.

The opening track from the Canadian outfit show that they’ve gone all out on experimentation, with fast paced grooves and precise drum work that brings a kick of fresh air into the scene that marks the comeback of a great band. Changes in the pace of the track keep you on your toes and make you wonder what ferocious element ION DISSONANCE are going to throw into the mix next.

The Truth Will Set You Free features an isolated distorted riff that brings the track to a slower start, before kicking you in the teeth with sheer ferocity and force shortly afterwards. Due to its slower start, this track feels even more fast-paced and hectic than Burdens, demonstrating the band’s ability to simply keep on producing ridiculously (good) technical riffs and bridges. A few seconds of silence towards the end lull you into a false sense of security, before blasting your ears with a hard-hitting final section that just leaves you wanting more. And that’s what ION DISSONANCE continue to do on this album.

To Expiate offers more of an industrial sound to the record initially, showing the band’s experimentation with other sub-genres before ploughing into their true sound. Disjointed riffs make for an interesting and captivating listen, with bass work that really sticks out and catches your ear. The bass in this track enhances it tremendously, and showcases each member’s musical ability.

An absolute highlight of the album is Ill Will, with its bombardment of heavy riffs with a hint of groove to them, it forcefully claws into your head and stays there. Kevin’s murderous vocals hit hard in this track to tear through your ears and remind you that these guys are back and are serious about it. Another highlight is Suffering: The Art of Letting Go, presenting the raw energy and creativity the band throw with full force onto us.

The prize for the best track on the album, however, goes to D.A.B.D.A State of Discomposure, as it shows every single speck of creativity this band has, and presents it beautifully. The nearly 9-minute-long track comprises of some of the hardest hitting riffs on the album, with every single instrument coming together in perfect harmony to create something that would be a sin to ignore.

Some bands may fizzle out or lose their touch after not producing new material for a length of time, but Cast the First Stone just shows that ION DISSONANCE are ready to throw themselves back into the pit and show to everybody out there that they’re more than capable of contributing to the extreme metal scene.

ION DISSONANCE have created an album that excels in all areas, displaying a drive to delve into experimentation and technicality that few bands manage to pull off as well as this. The Canadian outfit have really pushed themselves forward, with what could easily be considered as one of, if not the, best album of the year so far. They say good things come to those who wait, and this album is an example of that. We waited, they delivered. With force.

Rating: 10/10

Cast The First Stone - Ion Dissonance

Cast The First Stone is available to purchase from November 18th via Good Fight Music.

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