It has been six years since ION DISSONANCE's last album, 2010's "Cursed". That is far too long a wait for many fans of a band that delivers its battery somewhere at the intersection of deathcore and heavy prog. Fortunately, the time that has lapsed since then hasn't done the group any harm. While not as fresh sounding and forward-thinking as it was when ION DISSONANCE first emerged, the Quebec band is still head and shoulders above its competition. Unlike many metal artists enabled with such talent, the band channels it all, utilizing it towards songwriting, and the delivery is passionate and downright venomous.
There are no left turns. "Cast the First Stone", its fifth album, is everything the group's fans would expect and want. The groups more mature in its approach, allowing the music to breathe where it needs to, which optimizes the heavier sections due to the contrast. There is also value worth soaking up in such spacious phrases themselves. " (D.A.B.D.A.) State of Discomposure", for instance, ushers in ethereal, distant-sounding guitar parts and a spoken word bit prior to a jazzy, dreamlike section highlighted by Jean-François Richard's tasteful percussive punctuations.
ION DISSONANCE's ADD-like mathcore changes bounce around a labyrinth of discordant riffs and rhythms that eventually make sense within the full context of entire songs. The industrial-esque instrumental "Untitled II" serves as an adequate mid-album break to properly digest everything before the unit force feeds you more oppressive belligerence the second "Suffering: The Art Of Letting Go" kicks in with Kevin McCaughey's unyielding hardcore vocals and an onslaught of atonal shards and infectious guitar play.
ION DISSONANCE's absence has been noticeable, and its return is exactly what the more aggressive side of metal and hardcore has needed.