Cast The First Stone
18th November 2016 – Good Fight Music
02. The Truth Will Set You Free
03. To Expiate
04. To Lift The Dead Hand of the Past
05. Untitled II
06. Suffering: The Art of Letting Go
07. Ill Will
08. D.A.B.D.A. State of Discomposure
09. Threading on Thin Ice
11. Perpetually Doomed: The Sisyphean Task
With bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan, Car Bomb and Noise Trail Immersion all releasing new material this year it’s a great time to be a mathcore fanatic. Adding Ion Dissonance‘s return? A suitable cherry on top – but only if the return is a triumphant one.
“Get out of my head” screams vocalist Kevin McCaughey at the start of album opener “Burdens“. After being out of the game for over half a decade, it’s obvious Ion Dissonance don’t want to pull any punches, nor waste time in kicking off Cast The First Stone, jumping straight in with mathy, down-tuned 8-string grooves. Fans who were disappointed in the turn to groovier material after Minus the Herd might be excused to be a bit miffed with the inaugural track; it’s a largely rhythmic, groovy affair, but dismissing the record on that alone would be a tragedy.
As the saying goes, “The Truth Will Set You Free” – and listening on reveals the truth, which also happens to be the title for the next track. This song quickly adds more jarring riffs, tapping and odd time signatures, never so much as pausing for respite, as opposed to Dillinger and Car Bomb who both added more melodic content in latter years. Whether this is seen as a pro or con remains up to each listener, but it definitely feels like Ion Dissonance have rather combined all their previous tricks than learned a new one.
With that said, the previous tricks are at their very best here, perfectly evidenced on “To Lift The Dead Hand of The Past” where the opening blasts of satisfying cacophony and aggression evolve smoothly into Cursed-like signature grooves, and showcase why the mathcore world has been waiting with baited breath for Ion Dissonance to come back – and all encapsulated within the span of under two and a half minutes
Although never a big element in ID’s music, the slower, sludgier riffs prominent on 9-minute behemoth “D.A.B.D.A. A State of Discomposure” were often present on the band’s first two albums, and it’s on this track that Ion Dissonance combine their many assets into a monolithic beast, perfectly juxtaposed by the likes of “Ill Will” and “Burdens“, both of which float around the 2 minute mark.
There’s no denying that Ion Dissonance have always been ahead of the game. In some ways, comparable to SikTh and their recent reunion, numerous acts have cited the Canadians as a big influence on their sound, even since their disappearance into the void in 2010. Ion Dissonance have returned from the cold with an absolute banger of an album in Cast The First Stone, which will most likely be the second most crushing thing you hear this year, shortly behind the news that Donald Trump is President-elect of the United States of America. But hey, you can always move to Canada; they’ve got some fucking sick mathcore over there.