Hour of Penance walk the line between technical and brutal death metal; the songs are both sharply played and bluntly brutal. Incorporating the best of both styles into their violent, energetic mix, Cast the First Stone is a focused, directed assault throughout its 35 minute duration.
Brutal and heavy, the band tear through the material as if their lives depend on it. Not content with being a run-of-the-mill death metal group, the quality of the band’s songwriting and their ideas mark Hour of Penance as better than most of their similar sounding peers.
The above manifests in the composition, flow and pacing of the songs, but also in the riffs and guitars in general. With some very tasty riffs and leads, Hour of Penance seem quite happy to write guitar parts that seem to somehow be quintessentially death metal, while also concurrently being greater than and different to the norm.
The quality playing on this release ably shows off the musicians’ technical ability, while still descending into outright brutality when they need to get down and dirty with some bloody carnage. The tracks on this album show a band that are confident in their delivery and experienced enough to inject a few different things into the mix too. This includes some atmospheric and orchestral enhancements here and there, providing added interest and depth to the songs.
With a strong production and a singer that can growl with the best of them, Cast the First Stone is a very enjoyable slab of prime, mature death metal by a modern, forward-thinking band.