Hour of Penance aren’t beating around the bush on their new album, Cast the First Stone, if this debut single is representative of what to expect. “XXI Century Imperial” is pummeling death metal in top form.
The song is written from the perspective of someone serving during the Crusades. Lyrics flash onscreen over vibrant art depicting a battle, and the lyrics truly set the tone (“Marching forward, colonizing/Gradually reorganizing worthless plebs with martial law”).
Building on the Crusades theme of “XXI Century Imperial,” the band left a statement from vocalist Paolo Pieri in the video during an instrumental break.
“Cast the First Stone revolves around the idea that the injustices suffered during the Crusades and Colonialism cannot justify indefinitely a chain of hate that propagandize the destruction of the West. I believe that the political situation in recent years has brought to light again a millennial conflict between West and East, and events like the terrorist attack at the Bataclan, where we only played a few months before the massacre, have influenced the lyrics on this record very much.
“It does not matter who has thrown the first stone, but who first evolved his ideology to seek peace and coexistence instead of war to the bitter end.”
Hour of Penance will release Cast the First Stone through Prosthetic Records on January 27.