Ion Dissonance – ‘Cast The First Stone’

By Andy Leddington

There are a lot of different synonyms for “angry”. You’ve probably read all of them at some point if you read a lot of heavy music reviews (we’re a pretty angry bunch). Imagine taking all of those words, scrunching them up, putting that ball of anger in the heart of a wasp, and then tell that wasp his wife left him for his best friend and took the car and the dog. That is the level of sheer anger reached by this Ion Dissonance album.

Right from the very first second of opening track ‘Burdens’ you’re hit by a barrage of dirty, gritty, downtuned tech metal. But far from being the usual kind of cleanly-produced ‘djenty’ tech metal that has become the standard these days, ‘Cast The First Stone’ feels more like a tech album played by punk kids who have only just found out they make guitars with more than six strings. It’s a wonderfully refreshing change to what tech metal has become, and with all but one of the eleven tracks clocking in at three minutes or under, there’s none of the wishy-washy ambient sections; Ion Dissonance just plug in and go balls-to-the-wall.

The one slight downside to this album is that its intensity, which the album is angrily built around, can become hard to withstand after a while. After one listen you feel the need for a long cold bath just to cool off from the non-stop assault to your ears and even those who really enjoy having their head repeatedly caved in with an anvil will find themselves struggling with this one at points.

Nonetheless, you cannot fault Ion Dissonance for making an album that, whilst difficult and challenging, is still interesting. It’s technical in a “we can play our instruments so fast you’ll wonder how we do it” sort of way, and it’s this pace, combined with the cast-iron heaviness of it all, that makes this album both challenging, and remarkable in the same ways.

ANDY LEDDINGTON

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