May 2014 08

Author & Punisher - Women & ChildrenAuthor & Punisher
Category: Industrial / Drone / Experimental
Album: Women & Children
Stars: 4
Blurb: Offering the faintest glimmers of what once was and may never be again, Author & Punisher delivers an album of apocalyptic grandeur.


The sunny extravagance of San Diego, CA may be the last place one would expect to hear a grimly apocalyptic and devastating soundscape, but such is the case with Author & Punisher, the one-man onslaught of Tristan Shone. Described as “industrial doom,” Author & Punisher concocts a blissfully caustic brew that feels inspired as much by the controlled noise of classic industrial groups like Einstürzende Neubauten as by the slow burning fury of Godflesh. Such a description hardly does justice to the full scope of Shone’s artist vision as the audio constructions on the act’s latest album, Women & Children, evoke a multitude of intense emotions that would serve as a marvelous soundtrack to the end of one’s world.

As the title track begins, a steadily rising drone of synth and drums approach as Shone’s voice calls out and echoes in the distance. The track then erupts into a virulent display of grinding synthesized noise, distorted and mechanical in a manner usually reserved for heavy guitars, before finally burning itself out like a rusted broken down automaton. Throughout each track on Women & Children, Author & Punisher takes the listener through a myriad of sonic environments that admittedly require some patience on the listener’s part to traverse, but are indicative of the thoughtfulness behind the compositions. There is a structure to each track that only becomes apparent after repeated listens, providing one can withstand the onslaught. Traces of melody are sparse but interspersed, delivered primarily by way of Shone’s impassioned vocals, often supplementing the ambience with sustained wails and echoes phrases that take on an instrumental quality in tandem with the machines. “Tame as a Lion” is a notable example of this, his voice seamlessly alternating from atmospheric calls that work well with the discordant piano and synth noise to a guttural industrial growl that is immediately reminiscent of Justin K. Broadrick. As well, “Miles from Home” maintains a languid pace and a restrained ambient tonality that while distorted and grim, does well to instill a sense of dread at some approaching peril, ending suddenly as if to give the listener no time to react at its arrival. “Pain Myself” ends the album with a rather lovely and lush piano and vocal melody before descending into a barrage of squelching synth noise and thunderous beats to deliver one final blow to the listener’s eardrums.

Women & Children is not an easy album to endure; at times, the acidic mélange of loops and noisy feedback create an oppressive wall of sound that can certainly grate on the uninitiated’s nerves. Yet amid the noise is a distinct sense of composition and actual musicianship, grounding Author & Punisher’s nightmarish visions in a world perhaps on the cusp of annihilation but with the faintest glimmers of what once was and may never be again.
Track list:

  1. Women & Children
  2. In Remorse
  3. Melee
  4. Tame as a Lion
  5. Fearce
  6. Miles from Home
  7. Pain Myself

Author & Punisher Website
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Author & Punisher Bandcamp
Seventh Rule Recordings Website
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Bandcamp (Author & Punisher)
Bandcamp (Seventh Rule Recordings)
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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