Author & Punisher – Beastland

Author & Punisher - Beastland

8.8/10

Author & Punisher (Tristan Shone) is a one-man industrial/experimental band from San Diego, California. He released his 8th studio album, Beastland, on October 15th, 2018 via Relapse Records.

The album starts withPharmacide,” a drone-y intro that starts establishing a pattern with static and an unsettling atmosphere. It then goes into a trance-like industrial sludge machine with static, shrieked vocals mixed with cleans in the background a la Anaal Nathrakh.

It follows up with “Nihil Strength,” which is still the aforementioned machine but horn section and actual vocal lines throughout the song that sounds like Devin Townsend when he’s screaming. Amazing.

This whole album feels like it’s built on two themes: catharsis and melancholy. The songs on this album are a roller coaster that goes from black metal vocals to Deftones style vocals on the switch of a dime. This can be found on “The Speaker Is Systematically Broken.” The bass lines on this album are dirty, and disorienting, as can be found onOde to Bedlam,” it definitely hits the mark.

“Nazarene” is a mix of anger and anguish, you will hear transcending clean vocals that feel like hope at times, then it’s smashed to smashed to pieces by the industrial sludge machine. This album is a real mind messer. Love it.

“Apparition” starts with what sounds like a cave hermit giving you a warning, then hitting you with a disorienting yet catchy bass line and beat while performing a mix of rock style and spoken word vocals in the mix too. You even have sirens in the background, giving you a sense of danger throughout the song.

”Night Terror,” features an eerie theremin intro followed by ranting vocals yet the music and ambience are soothing at times. Bands try to pull off the polar opposite effect for contrast a lot, but it’s hit or miss. This is a hit.

Lastly is “Beastland,” which features same distorted guitar patches, is the most metallic. It has choirs and a hooky, booming beat. There are minimal vocals and focuses more on the contrasting effect between drone music and industrial metal.

All in all, I really enjoyed this album, it reminds me of Godflesh gone full industrial/experimental. The production is consistent and stellar. My only critique is that the album was a bit monotonous at times, with the songs relying on a contrasting theme in almost every song. Not a big thing at all, I just like a bit more variation when it comes to LPs. Nonetheless, it was a mechanical yet emotional roller coaster. Looking forward to the next release!

Written By Peter Lountzis
*edited by Mike Milito

About Peter Lountzis 20 Articles
Montreal-born Peter Lountzis often gets told that he looks like people ranging from Frank Zappa to Vlad the Impaler. His taste in music and film are an eclectic reflection of that. He likes anything from smooth jazz to technical brutal death metal. When he’s not watching every film under the sun or trying to find new ways to support the underground music scene, people can find him playing guitar in Montreal based death metal projects or playing survival horror video games. Albeit having a passion for the darker side of art, he works in healthcare and graduated as a licensed practical nurse because he loves helping people. His biggest passion in life is listening to music, which is why he looks so forward to reviewing for Bucketlist Music Reviews!

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