Author & Punisher - Beastland review

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Band: Author & Punisher
Album: Beastland
Release date: October 2018

01. Pharmacide
02. Nihil Strength
03. Ode To Bedlam
04. The Speaker Is Systematically Blown
05. Nazarene
06. Apparition
07. Night Terror
08. Beastland

Exploring industrial metal more over the past year, it sometimes feels as though the bleaker, more painful side of the genre was something that was seen more so in its early history than anything else. While not nonexistent, few bands today seem to really tap into the grittier and more agonizing approach that the style can really conjure. Author & Punisher, however, is certainly an exception to that trend.

If you're unfamiliar, this industrial doom metal behemoth (no, no, not "that" behemoth) is the one man project of U.S. noise terrorizer Tristan Shone. Author & Punisher is considerably distinct for industrial metal not merely in terms of being much more aggressive and unrestrained than many other bands, but also in regards to the particular way in which the music is created, as Shone is notable for crafting all of his own bizarre little instruments practically from scratch (check the video for "Nihil Strength" for an idea of what he works with… quite impressive!). Beastland, Shone's 2018 effort, isn't too far off from his previous A&P work: largely industrial, but also underscored by a monolithic, plodding doom metal influence that really helps to give the music that extra oomph it needs to be that much more colossal and imposing.

While it doesn't wander too far from the other A&P albums Shone has released already, Beastland at points does nonetheless feel slightly more melodic than I remember the project sounding in the past. "Melodic" may be an odd term to use here for music that seems almost fundamentally opposed to any sense of beauty or more relaxing auras, but there are indeed slight moments here and there where the more plodding, darker sounding approach that forms the bulk of the album is dropped, and lighter, more bright sounding synths take over. It's not as "bright" as something like Perturbator or Old Tower, mind you, but it does serve as a noticeable contrast from the more bludgeoning approach that more or less dominates the rest of Beastland, and enough of one to give the album a pleasant sense of its own identity when compared to the rest of the A&P discography.

Between Beastland and the new P.H.O.B.O.S. album, this year we've thankfully gotten a pretty excellent (even if small) taste of what the darker side of industrial metal has to offer. Author & Punisher stands as a fine example of how to craft a unique sound within industrial metal both with creative songwriting and creative instrumentation. For one reason or another, industrial doom is still a considerably underdeveloped style within the metal spectrum, but the bands that do choose to go at such an approach often seem to end up doing one hell of a job at it. You'd be a silly goose to not count Author & Punisher as one of them.

Go get hammered.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 8


Written on 15.10.2018 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments: 3   [ 1 ignored ]   Visited by: 135 users
15.10.2018 - 20:44
Old Nick
You're on a roll mate
Crushing and suffocating sound like the cover art suggests, me likey. Those "melodic" synths that emerge through all the bludgeoning lift this on another level I think.
15.10.2018 - 20:46
Written by nikarg on 15.10.2018 at 20:44

You're on a roll mate
Crushing and suffocating sound like the cover art suggests, me likey. Those "melodic" synths that emerge underneath all the bludgeoning lift this on another level I think.

Hehe thanks, have been a little more active with publications over the past few weeks. It's nice to get back on track, "real life" really slowed my pace last year but I've pumped out a good deal more thus far this year.

And yes, definitely like the more melodic touches here, as subtle as they may be. I'd have to revisit some of the earlier albums as I listened to them quite a while ago and don't recall their sound to a T, but I wouldn't be too ashamed to say this might be my favorite A&P album yet.
Now who should I call? Should I call Mr. Strawberry?
No, I don't think I'll call Mr. Strawberry. I don't think he's taking calls.
15.10.2018 - 21:28
What do you mean Godflesh isnt the only real industrial metal band
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me

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