Review: Melk En Honing by Author & Punisher

If you take the time to browse through this or just about any music news site or publication geared towards heavy music then you have most likely heard of Author & Punisher, the one-man musical endeavor by musician/engineer Tristan Shone. A truly unique band, Author & Punisher stands out just a bit more from the pack of current artists by foregoing the use of conventional instruments, save for vocals that is. Shone goes about creating his brand of music by using custom-made machines that he forges from raw materials using his background as a mechanical engineer. These “instruments”, called drone machines, dub machines, and masks are the tools used to bring his music to life. It’s a fascinating project that is further pushed from the typical band because of the connection between the “instruments” and physical self. Shone IS his music, as the drone machines, etc. require motion to function. His new effort as Author & Punisher, titled Melk En Honing, will take you on a journey through electronic soundscapes of melancholia that define industrial doom metal.

Cathartic, disorienting, miserable, angry, and chaotic are all words that properly describe what the listener is in for with Melk En Honing. It’s undeniably heavy, with haunting atmospherics, and tortured vocals that come together in tumultuous harmony. Album opener “The Barge” starts with electronic fuzz before kicking into to a massive “bass” riff that is followed by vocalized despair. The track is a dizzying spiral of a song that would be suitable as background music on a ferry ride through hell. Shone trades between screaming and misery-laden vocals (and then some courtesy of his masks) that fit perfectly with the music to create a visceral experience fit for the apocalypse. While the record is rather repetitive, subtle nuances along with some more apparent breaks add flavor that keep it interesting. The album possesses a dark ambiance that is raw and heavy, yet is not lacking in hooks that stick with the listener. Overall, Melk En Honing is a well-produced effort that comes down on you like a ton of bricks. and takes a step in a heavier direction when compared to its predecessors.

Rating: 4/5

Produced by Phil Anselmo, Melk En Honing hits stores on June 30th through Housecore Records. Pre-orders can be found via the label at this location. For more on Tristan Shone and Author & Punisher visit tristanshone.com.

Melk En Honing track listing:

1. “The Barge”
2. “Cauterize”
3. “Shame”
4. “Future Man”
5. “Disparate”
6. “Callous And Hoof”
7. “Teething”
8. “Void, Null, Alive”

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