HOUR OF PENANCE - Cast The First Stone
February 8, 2017, a year ago
Seventh full-length here for Italian death metallers Hour Of Penance, and anyone who’s been following the band over the years won’t be surprised at what’s in store here, but they will be happy with it: slightly technical, slightly moody DM is the order of the day, the band laying down with clinical precision their blasts and chops.
It’s just this side of being too precise to pack any emotional heft, luckily: songs like the excellent title track convey a powerful mood and feeling amidst all the extreme metal proficiency. And there’s more to these guys than death metal blasting: the soaring middle section of “Iron Fist” has a guitar solo that actually enthralls, which is extremely rare in death metal (okay, in any metal). The album is over in a lean mean 35 minutes, which is a reasonable length for death metal of this level of brutality: much longer and you’re just cross-eyed and bummed out, but as is, man, Hour Of Penance pretty much nailed it here.