Ion Dissonance – ‘Cast The First Stone’ [Review]
UPDATE: TMMP has been reborn! This video has the full story:
Ion Dissonance are pissed off – and with good reason. Held back by behind-the-scenes struggles for the past six years, the Canadian metallers are finally ready to unleash fifth album Cast The First Stone upon the world.
By the time Ion Dissonance are done, you may not have any ears left.
Imagine The Dillinger Escape Plan jamming with Meshuggah, both bands focussed solely on producing the most extreme, hectic, and brutal results possible. Keep the track lengths punky, ranging between 1:44 and 3:14 bar one near-nine-minute epic called D.A.B.D.A State Of Discomposure. If what you’re now imagining makes you uncomfortably tumescent, Cast The First Stone is going to be one of your favourite albums of 2016.
Personally, I like this kind of music in moderation – so the short running times of Burdens, The Truth Will Set You Free, To Expiate, and To Lift The Dead Hand Of The Past were more than welcome. At that point, I needed a short breather before tackling Untitled II – which then proved a short breather in itself, rendering my self-enforced time away redundant. From there, Suffering: The Art Of Letting Go became a personal highlight, relatively restrained grooves and balls-to-the-wall catharsis perfectly balanced, and Ill Will promptly ripped into existence, tore its way through a terrifying sequence of riffs, and became another favourite in the process.
If, like I did, you feel tempted to pause again at this point, don’t bother. Just dive into Cast The First Stone’s full-on-prog song. Ion Dissonance are plainly aware that if you’re going to push the boat out length-wise, you’re going to need to pace proceedings perfectly. As we all know, progressive metal can become either interminably boring or mind-ruiningly oppressive as the minutes tick on – but D.A.B.D.A State Of Discomposure is neither.
What it is is an Olympian rampage through the collective minds of some of the metal world’s most uncompromising musicians. In true prog fashion, State Of Discomposure takes an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to structure – and live, it’s going to be fucking intense. Frantic noise riffs, borderline-spoken-word vocal breaks, fusion-inflected guitar solos, flayed-skin arpeggios…as long as it’s not clean and pristine, it’s in there somewhere. In a word: Immense.
As a whole, Cast The First Stone is a serious tech-metal marathon – and like a long-distance runner, I summoned up a second wind and used it to push on through Treading On Thin Ice, Virtue, and Perpetually Doomed: The Sisyphean Task. As if prepared for that eventuality, Ion Dissonance barely let up for the duration of Cast The First Stone’s final three cuts. Man alive. At this point, you’ve got to ask how this level of intensity is even possible.
Of course, the answer is obvious if easily forgotten under pressure. Cast The First Stone is absolutely an endurance test – but that’s hardly surprising given the circumstances surrounding its creation. Ion Dissonance have overcome the most challenging stage of their careers to date, and frustrated clearly doesn’t cover it. These guys have endured and emerged victorious – and whether extreme music is your thing or not, only a complete dick would dismiss the sheer testicular fortitude required to get any job done as thoroughly and passionately as Ion Dissonance have here.
TMMP RATING: 94% (Essential Listening!)
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