“GET OUT OF MY HEAD”
…and so begins the long overdue fifth record from one Ion Dissonance.
Some six years on, nervous bloggers and critics all get to press play on Cast The First Stone. They await the technique, atmosphere and savage grooves that have been ringing out since 2010’s Cursed; all hoping this long play will see the band return to a gyrating, straight for the jugular attack of bellows, blasts and broken strings, they carefully listen as the first notes hit. Boom.
Well… well, well, well. Much to the journalists/fans jubilation, Ion Dissonance have only gone and bloody done it, eh? Still violent, still technically terrifying, still furiously creative. The Earth this 2016 will shake with the sound of Dissonance. Shit will go down. It’s going to be so much fun.
Considering all the hyperbole, best to start of with just why this record causes so much damage. These Canucks have never shirked from jarring, angular rhythms and discord, not from the very first wacky math foray. It makes sense then that this is one of the most reckless examples of rhythmic battery on offer right now. While Car Bomb may lurch and stutter between drone, doom and Deftones, Ion Dissonance pinball off every surface and crash through any passage left accessible. A sweet nod back to times yonder, even filler track “Untitled II” berates during it’s brief, restrained math problem of a beat. All locked in by guitars that crank and shift the gears while the rhythm section stays one step ahead. It ain’t just the dirt shifting grooves that make this the best Ion Dissonance record yet however.
Minus The Herd and Cursed proved that there are but a few challengers to the destructive swagger of Ion D. Fact, end of discussion. Now, newcomers will have to strive to maintain the brutality of math metal while failing to make it anywhere near as engaging as this. Not one beat or breath is wasted in this cacophonous equation. The band challenge the listener to keep track of the maelstrom with precise syncopation and primal vocal delivery. McCaughey’s performance is just as vital to the constantly progressing machinations of Cast The First Stone. Easily his best vocal performance, the declarations come thick and fast. Snapping off the hi-hat around the kick pattern before finally syncing with the blasts, he turns his voice into a kind of percussion. Few have such ability to carve a path of words around music so unforgiving and chaotic. It’s this attention to detail that makes this record so immersive and addictive. Try not to listen to the opening bars of “Perpetually Doomed: The Sisyphean Task” over and over. It is not Sisyphean whatsoever.
Yeah, they’re back. Yeah, they’re brilliant. Thank fuck.
This band are back with a bang and with one of the greats for the year, the genre and the decade. Ion Dissonance have left the past behind and are certainly not scared of death. Just what comes next. So they should be. If Cast The Stone is just the first one thrown, anything following it could slow down time or lower the core temperature of the Earth, even reverse of the rotation of the sun. Anyone not inspired by Ion Dissonance should be intimidated by them because this is how to do a big comeback record – blow the fucking plan to bits then carefully piece the shattered remains into something even more twisted and deranged than ever before.