Author & Punisher

There is a fair amount of cross-pollination between Metal and Electronic Music/Industrial. They are, after […]
By Martin Knap
November 7, 2018
Author & Punisher - Beastland album cover

There is a fair amount of cross-pollination between Metal and Electronic Music/Industrial. They are, after all, extreme musical expressions and it is understandable that they will draw a certain type of people - people like, let's say, Justin Broadrick, who started as a member of NAPALM DEATH, but went on to found the seminal Industrial Metal band GODFLESH, and is also known as an underground Drum and Bass producer. Or take the raw Black Metal band BEHERIT that produced an overlooked Techno/Dark Ambient masterpiece "Electric Doom Synthesis" and so on. I for one got into extreme Metal not through Hard Rock or Heavy Metal but through Electronica - I'll never forget hearing THE PRODIGY for the first time at the tender age of twelve or so.  At the present time some Metal labels do put out interesting electronic music: PRURIENT is signed to Dark Descent Records and AUTHOR & PUNISHER, whose latest LP is the subject of this review, to none other than Relapse Records.

AUTHOR & PUNISHER is a one-man project masterminded by the mechanical engineer Tristan Shone who designed his own drum setup and drone machines that he operates with a bunch of controllers. His music has some similarities to Noise Music in that he's experimenting with the sonic qualities of his music, but he takes these dense and abrasive sounds and goes on to write songs that have melody and structure. Especially this latest project is fairly streamlined compositionally and the songs have emotional melodies that contrast with the harsh, abrasive sounds of the percussion, sub-bass and high pitched tones of the drone machine that drive the music forward.  The 37 minutes long album is all killer and no filler. Some stand-out songs are "Nihil Strength" where in the chorus Shone screams over a simple synth melody. The screams are super abrasive but the melody is sad and beautiful - this combination makes the song really powerful. "Ode To Bedlam" has a catchy vocal hook sung in clean vocals with an ominous synth melody providing a counterpoint. The chorus in "The Speaker is Systematically Blown" is also outright catchy. The album closes with a kind of GODFLESH-y, minimalist song with some cool vocal chants and an ambient passage - a great way to close the album. The production is handled excellently, it has the right heft and punch for an album with a song "The Speaker is Systematically Blown" on it.

Tristan Shone is taking his project into interesting new directions and is able do deliver powerful music. I'm giving this a thumbs up.

8 / 10









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"Beastland" Track-listing:

1. Pharmacide
2. Nihil Strength
3. Ode to Bedlam
4. The Speaker is Systematically Blown
5. Nazarene
6. Apparition
7. Night Terror
8. Beastland

Author & Punisher Lineup:

Tristan Shone - All Instruments, Vocals

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