Cast the Stone
Empyrean Atrophy EP

I’m always excited to see local metal bands from here in Missouri get some recognition or sign to a decent label. St Louis’s Cast the Stone were formed in 2002 and I crossed paths with bassist Derek Engemann at a few Sounds of the  Underground/Summer Slaughter/Harkonin (another great St Louis act) shows in St  Louis  at the time he was also cross border act Unmerciful and since has helped out Cattle Decapitation. Guitarist Mark Kloeppel has gone on to be in Scour, , Misery Index and Criminal Element ( I also met him on a plane from St Louis to Baltimore). Co- founder  Jesse Schobel also has helped out Phil Anselmo in Scour, so there is some talent in Cast the Stone, and finally with  a decent label ( their full length debut Dark Winds Descending was released on a tiny local label) and proper release, the project get finally get some recognition with this KILLER EP.

What we have here is some super chunky, burly slightly melodic death metal with a slight Swedish death metal edge and some Danish beef to boot. Think  early Hypocrisy and Edge of Sanity meets Dawn of Demise or Illdisposed .  Adding to the Edge of Sanity vibe is new vocalist Andrew Huskey, who has a very Infernal/Crimson era powerful but decipherable roars as well as some an acoustic interlude and some cool leads and solos (just listen to the solo in opener “As the Dead Lie” – pure EOS). Dan Swano even helped out with the production, resulting in a huge, crunchy guitar tone, heck there is even a cover of Infestdead’s “Jesusatan” (Swano’s 90s brutal death metal/ Deicide homage/project). Need more?

The 6 tracks are 4 songs, a cover and an interlude (“Standing in the Shadows”), that’s only 27 minutes, but its worth it as its all absolutely top notch.  Second track “The Burning Horizon”, is a smooth grooving, mid paced monster with a blistering blackened mid section while “A Plague of Light” is a melo-death rager with a really well done harmonic riff about 1:20 in. The EP’s title track delivers  little of everything and the “Jesusatan” cover fits in perfectly with the band’s original material as it has a killer mid song groove.

All the things are in place for these guys to finally blow up- the sound, the producer, the song writing, the hard work a label deal (heck, Origin are on Agonia Records) and  they have put the time in other bands. If there is any justice in the world, Cast the Stone will be the next big thing in American death metal.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
August 10th, 2018

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