Ion Dissonance’s first album in six years sees the Canadians still doffing their caps to Botch, Dillinger and Nothing-era Meshuggah, as well as the deathcore bullishness of their last few outings.
But Cast The First Stone fuses these disparate elements into a seamless whole that’s more monstrous than anything they’ve unleashed before. The frenetic clatter of opener Burdens and murderous attack of To Lift The Dead Hand Of The Past keep the listener on tenterhooks, and Kevin McCaughey’s vocals, while harsh, are decipherable enough for the confrontational lyrics to have the desired impact. To Expiate comes out swinging with serrated blades, but it’s on Treading On Thin Ice and the eight-minute D.A.B.D.A. State Of Discomposure that Ion Dissonance really hit their stride, building a feeling of menace and torturously prolonged agony instead of frantic chaos. ID both perfect and expand their craft here, maintaining their technically dazzling standards while delving further into the psyche to find uglier, nastier ways to punish the senses.