Hour Of Penance are the sort of death metal band who seem designed for the modern polemic. With powerful tech-y riffs, devastating vocals, intense drumming and a generally balls out sense of sonic destruction Cast The First Stone is an album that will keep pummeling into your gut time after time and reminding you of the simple nihilism of the genre. There's a lot to pick apart with Hour Of Penance, and with their seventh (!) studio album it's time to come to terms with the fact that they might just be that good.
I think ultimately the issue Hour Of Penance face is that though they are damn good they also adhere pretty strictly to standard death metal ideas. While on the hand that's sick, because the riffs on these tracks is oftentimes insane it also sometimes leaves you wanting a little more. That being said there has been a really incredible forward progression with this band. The atmospheres conjured up here are beyond the vast majority of their peers. The imagery and chunkiness of the riffs on Cast The First Stone creates something that you really want to sink your teeth in and dwell within. Hour Of Penance have come to understand all that death metal is and remind us of the power it has even at the roots.
Cast The First Stone is very much a meat and potatoes death metal record and also one that you will find yourself coming back to if you love spiraling riffs, manic blast beats and crazed rhythms. These guys have refined something rather unique and worth taking the time to properly digest. After all - Hour Of Penance have been doing this for a really goddamn long time, they've figured out at least a little bit of what makes this music special. This is a record you're going to want to dig into and which will remind you death metal is only getting better.
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