Published Dec 07, 2016After an unexpectedly long hiatus, Montreal death metal/mathcore band Ion Dissonance recently made their anticipated return with Cast the First Stone. This first album in six years follows up 2010's Cursed, and as vocalist Kevin McCaughey tells Exclaim!, the band wanted to take a break after touring for Cursed, but they didn't know just how long that would be.
"We knew we wanted to take some time off and concentrate on our own lives for a little bit, which is exactly what we did," McCaughey says. "It's just that once you get out of that whole cycle, sometimes it takes a little bit more time and a little kick in the butt to get back into it. We took own time and did our own thing, but it really felt good to get back to work."
McCaughey says he can understand why their fans started to think Ion Dissonance were done for good.
"On numerous occasions, we would go on social media and let people know that we were writing new songs or coming out with a new release, but after that, it was always followed by weeks or months of silence. So I know that a lot of people had given up hope. We started writing in 2012, so it literally took us four years to put songs together, scrap a whole bunch of ideas, and then come back together."
Cast the First Stone picks up right where the previous album left off, showcasing their distinct style featuring technical guitar work, dissonant rhythms and heavy grooves. McCaughey says that is exactly what the band intended.
"Every time we come together and say we're going to write a new record, we kind of challenge ourselves by saying, 'How about we incorporate all of the best elements of all the previous records we've done? And what else can we do to bring something new to the table?' If you look at Minus the Herd going on to Cursed and going onto now Cast the First Stone, the sound of the albums is somewhat similar, even though they weren't necessarily recorded by the same people and in different periods. We always try to build on certain elements or aspects of the previous work and incorporate as much of that as we can into the newer stuff."
McCaughey says that even though it doesn't sound like it's been six years since the last release, making Cast the First Stone was a long and tough process. This put some internal pressure on Ion Dissonance to create a quality album that measures up to their previous efforts.
"When we talking about finalizing songs for this album, we wanted to make sure that the finalized project was up to par. It wasn't just we were gone for six years, and now here's your usual cookie cutter sub-par record that we want to put out just to say we're still relevant. We wanted to make sure that if we're going to come back after such a long absence, we're going to come back with a bang and put together a collection that is up to par with the work that we have done. There are no filler tracks, no gaps, no holes — we just wanted to make sure everything is angry, fast, pissed off and in order. And that's what it is."
Cast the First Stone is out now on Good Fight.