Album Review: Author & Punisher 'Melk En Honing'
Fri, 19 Jun 2015 09:33:50
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Philip Anselmo-approved one-man musical force of nature grinds out an "industrial" masterpiece...
Not since Nine Inch Nails shook up the world with Pretty Hate Machine has an artist been as sonically and cinematically groundbreaking as Author & Punisher is on Melk En Honing. The sixth album from one-man wrecking crew Tristan Shone and first offering for legendary Pantera and Down frontman Philip H. Anselmo's Housecore Records bristles with a delightful intensity that's as inviting as it is invasive. If you aren't familiar, Boston native Shone enjoyed a career as a mechanical engineer, which he veered away from to go after an MFA. He took a job in the machine ships at UCSD and experienced a revelation. That's when he built the machines that serve as Author & Punisher's musical voice in Southern California.
Fast forward five albums later, he's perfected and honed this sound and collaborated with Anselmo in the producer's chair. The result is a new kind of heavy. In an age of thousands of sub-genres and what-have-you, that's a downright novel accomplishment. The album buzzes with a mechanical grind throughout, but Shone twists and shapes it into melody on the likes of the stirring and striking "Future Man."
As if he actually were molding metal, everything liquefies on these sweeping refrains where his guttural vocal delivery shines. The eight-minute-plus opener "The Barge" trudges along with a death march hum before eventually exploding. Throughout, it's nearly impossible to believe that one dude is the architect of all this sound, but it's true.
The trudge of "Callous and Hoof" immediately transfixes and then it drives its drill into the psyche once Tristan begins roaring. It's mechanized but oddly soulful throughout.
Listen to "Callous and Hoof"