Metal Storm logo
Author & Punisher - Krüller review

Bandcamp music player

40 users:
Band: Author & Punisher
Album: Krüller
Release date: February 2022

01. Drone Carrying Dread
02. Incinerator
03. Centurion
04. Maiden Star
05. Misery
06. Glorybox [Portishead cover]
07. Blacksmith
08. Krüller

I wonder if industrial metal musicians are tired of hearing their music described as "mechanically crushing". Because that's generally my "go-to phrase". And it applies to Krüller too.

Given the success of 2018's Beastland, it would be easy to misremember Author & Punisher as a pretty new band, when in fact Tristan Shone has started the project almost 20 years ago, and has been making music even before that. 2010's Drone Machines and 2012's Ursus Americanus are quite unsung classics in this industrial doom blend, at least compared to how much buzz Beastland got. But each of the Author & Punisher records has had a slightly different flavor, and a different placement on the industrial drone spectrum. And I think Krüller is Author & Punisher cleanest record so far.

That's something that is due to both the darksynth sounds and the higher prevalence of clean vocals. Keeping the cold, crushing, and harrowing vibe of Author & Punisher records past, Krüller adds something of synthwave's retrofuturism to the ethos of the album. It's no surprise that Perturbator's mainman James Kent is one of the guests on this album, but the retrofuturism here takes a bit more from the electro-industrial and EBM music that spawned industrial metal in the first place. There are still plenty of riffs that make you feel like a piece of flesh being battered in a factory, but it's all washed inside a new feeling that's a mix of dystopian and ethereal.

In some weird way, I also hear a lot of alt rock inside it, mostly in the vocal melodies. Which is ironic, since the retrofuturism that I referenced in the previous paragraph, would make it seem more like an album nostalgic for the 80s, not the 90s. But there's a sense of dread in the melodies that is so specific to that era, further cemented by the appearance of some other two guests, Tool's Danny Carey and Justin Chancellor. The ethereal sense that I previously mentioned makes a lot more sense as a shoegaze topping on top of the cold electro-industrial rock base, and it's an ethereal sense that one would rather associate with the drone parts of Author & Punisher, but they work just as well with the industrial ones.

"Maiden Star" is probably the song that best exemplifies this record's departure in sound, as it's probably the closest Author & Punisher would ever get to a love song, something that feels closer to something Devin Townsend would do. "Misery" sounds pretty close to being an Alice In Chains song. "Glorybox" is a Portishead cover that makes the album's new sound feel even more trip-hop-like in retrospect, even if the chorus being sung by Shone is a bit off. Without delving into a "track-by-track" review, every new listen that I give to each of Krüller's tracks reveals something novel about it.

And with it being the cleanest, I also think it's the one that's most in danger of dragging. Lacking the same oppressiveness does make it ironically more exhausting. Something that would be an even bigger issues in anyone else's hands.

Written on 21.02.2022 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments: 5   Visited by: 35 users
24.02.2022 - 01:36
Rating: 8

Enjoyed this album quite a bit, worth a listen for sure.
"Nullum unquam exstitit magnum igenium sine aliqua dementia [there was never great genius without some madness]."

Best of Metal A-Z:
28.02.2022 - 10:54
With a lowercase c
Written by Uxküll on 24.02.2022 at 01:36
Enjoyed this album quite a bit, worth a listen for sure.

Definitely this. My first contact with A&P but I'm curious about the rest of his discography now. Great listen.
10.04.2022 - 21:51
J the Metallizer

I never listened to Portishead and found the cover the weakest point still.
A lot of times, listening to blackened death metal is a lot like waking up after a night of heavy drinking: you know you had a decent time, but you can’t remember much of it. - Mark Z.
10.04.2022 - 23:01
Written by J the Metallizer on 10.04.2022 at 21:51

I never listened to Portishead

You go fix that
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
05.08.2022 - 22:06
Drone Strike
Much lighter by A&P standards. May just be me but I honestly don't hear much doom in this, it's sorta more of a plodding industrial with heavvy synthwave and, indeed, alternative influences. Like the change in direction though, definitely still heavy. And the clean vox are a nice touch, I honestly don't recall them on the previous albums.
Check out Apothecary's Favorite Bands Playlist, brotendo. One track per band.

Hits total: 1115 | This month: 21