Author and Punisher is a one man project from a man named Tristan Shone. Except unlike many of your other one-man projects that rely on real instruments or a laptop, this one is a bit different. You see, Mr. Shone makes his own instruments. Here’s a video to show you what I mean, because I feel like this will help you understand the review better:
Okay, so he makes his own instruments and that’s really cool. However, there’s obviously more to music than that. Anyone can make their own instrument, and certainly it takes a lot of creativity to make something totally new, but that doesn’t mean the music is any good. So does this stand up? Or should it go to the recycle bin?
So first off, the best way to describe this album in particular, Women and Children, is to take the control of ambiance and heaviness that Neurosis shows during their Through Silver in Blood era and fuse that with the industrial, almost erotic sounds of NIN’s The Fragile. Shone’s control of these elements borders on masterful – no doubt because he knows both the art of constructing a song as well as an intimate feeling of his own instruments. On the opener, the title track “Women and Children”, he amplifies the heaviness as necessary, yet letting the uneasy drone continue for a while. It’s fantastic. He’s also willing to give these songs the climax they deserve. Although it is most definitely always in control, shone can press the gas when needed (the beginning of In Remorse, for example). I also enjoy the use of drone in this record more than in many records that incorporate it – Miles from Home uses this to great effect, with the droning intersecting tones creating something both dark and beautiful.
The album itself is definitely evolved from his previous work, involving singing (as heard in In Remorse) and incorporating more conventional musical instruments. In the track Tame as a Lion, the melancholic piano melds well with the drone of Shone’s electronics and singing. The album as a whole stands as a much more mature work of art than Ursus Americanus, mainly because of Shone’s greater focus on writing as opposed to the project being perceived as a platform to show off his cool toys, and his experimentation with something that normally would be conventional (piano and singing in this case) is shown to both be unconventional and work.
Overall, this record is immensely enjoyable and incredibly varied. It’s good to see Tristan expanding on this from an art project to something more meaningful and beautiful. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
I interviewed Tristan about this record. He was actually talking with the auto shop prior to this call – his dedication to touring and getting this project out there is admirable. The interview is below.
1. Women and Children
2. In Remorse
4. Tame as a Lion
6. Miles From Home
7. Pain Myself
Genre: Industrial Doom/Drone Metal
Record Label: Seventh Rule Recordings
Playing Time: 41 Minutes