Author & Punisher
Ursus Americanus

Mechadoom. Color me jealous I didn’t come up with the term, but damned if Decibel didn’t hit the nail on the head with that genre descriptor when trying to concisely convey the sound of Author & Punisher. Hey, if the shoe fits, wear it, and this shoe sounds just like “mechadoom”.

Ursus Americanus is the fourth overall album from the one-man project Author & Punisher, aka Tristan Shone. But before tackling the duty of describing the sounds he creates, special attention should be given to the fact that he has created all of his sound-producing machines, via aluminum and steel, and speakers, which create the majority of his songs. Only Shone’s voice remains as the one organic ingredient, and it is brutish – granted it’s distorted, pitch-shifted and fucked with in other ways unknown to these ears.

The music, however, takes “brutish” to new monolithic heights of oppression. Sounding like a slowed down Curse of the Golden Vampire, the earliest records of Pitchshifter or even similar to industrial death-doomsters P.H.O.B.O.S.Author & Punisher are firmly anchored-in to industrial metal, though coming to the formula from a more overbearing and heavy angle. Shone actually manages to cover a broad base within this highly specialized niche on the seven songs that comprise his first album for Seventh Rule Recordings. The main blueprint for the record is demonstrated in lead-off track “Terrorbird”, which builds lumbering beats and sub-bass buzzing layer upon layer into an almost militaristic, pounding war march straight out of the necro-apocalypse.

Other tracks like “Lonely” and “FleshAnts” channel the more noisy, earlier periods of Skinny Puppy and Front Line Assembly, albeit with a heaping dose of steroids, sounding like an assembly-line in some hellacious underworld factory. “Set Aflames” is the longest track at 10:25 and also the most abrasive, teetering into power electronics territory (not full-on Cold Meat Industry levels of harshness, but certainly a challenging listen). The last two tracks, “Below And Above You” and “ILL Consuming” respectively, are a great denouement for the record as they serve to be great full-circle songs, showing equal parts of atmosphere and brutality from Author & Punisher’s spectrum.

The fact that Shone made this on equipment he made himself is worth praise alone, but the fact that he managed to create something that tips his cap to genre heavyweights while creating something distinctly his own is truly an accomplishment. Here’s to hoping more bands bring the industrial heaviness in 2012 and beyond.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Stacy Buchanan
June 7th, 2012

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    oooh, sounds cool


  2. Commented by: blighty

    This dude is really interesting. Watch some of the videos of him performing his stuff live. The insane instruments are worth the price of admission alone(gotta love that drum machine that makes its sounds by running chain links over metal bumps).


  3. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    this is insane music


  4. Commented by: Chuck

    Great review, Stacy. Crazy stuff. With 4 releases I’m surprised he hasn’t gotten more attention up til now.


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