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Author & Punisher – Krüller

Author & Punisher
by Gary Hernandez at 24 April 2022, 9:18 PM

AUTHOR & PUNIUSHER, Industrial Doom and Drone project of Tristan Shone, came on the scene circa 2004. Since then, Shone, under the A&P moniker, has released nine studio albums and one live album. His latest album, “Krüller,” was issued February 11, 2022 via Relapse Records. For the uninitiated, A&P uses “primarily custom fabricated machines/controllers and speakers called Drone/Dub Machines. The devices draw heavily on aspects of industrial automation, robotics and mechanical tools and devices, focusing on the eroticism of the interaction.”

The album spans eight tracks and falls about four minutes short of an hour. Thematically, “Krüller” is a bit of a didactic album, focusing on themes of “the decay and self-absorption of today.” Shone reportedly drew inspiration from Octavia E. Butler’s post-apocalyptic novel “Parable,” which comments heavily on climate change and social inequality. Fuse that with the Industrial aesthetic of distorted atmospheric drone and Shone’s whine-inflected vocals, inferring outrage and disdain, and, yeah, you get didactic. Which isn’t a bad thing. I mean, the man has something to say, and he says it through his music, his voice, and his lyrics. And it does have an impact. You don’t walk away from “Krüller” without a sense of what’s on Shone’s mind.

Shone is joined by a plethora of guest artists on this album, which says a lot about what he has achieved in the Industrial space. We get James Kent (PERTURBATOR) on “Misery”; bassist Danny Carey and drummer Justin Chancellor (TOOL) on “Centurion”; drummer John Cota on “Drone Carrying Dead”; and Marilia Maschion contributing vocals on “Maiden Star.Phil Sgrosso provides guitar performances and Jason Begin (VYTEAR) supports on producing and mixing.

This album seems much longer than it actually is. The incessant greyscape of Industrial distortion creates an illusion of unwavering sameness throughout. Because of that, I am hard pressed to pick standout tracks, but at the same time I also can’t point to any particular track that is lacking. The one exception for me was “Blacksmith.” This track is like an especially annoying character in a great movie. You know, the character you absolutely hate until you realize that it takes some seriously great acting to get you there. “Blacksmith” (featuring the above noted Jason Begin) really got under my skin, which is the reason I have to really admire it. It made stop, retrace my steps, and question my assumptions. And that is very cool.

I can’t say “Krüller” is my thing. In my music continuum, Industrial had its time and place. I can, however, appreciate the artistry of this album and I will be reading “Parable” soon. Like the album cover (Zlatko Mitev) that adorns it, “Krüller” seems all too familiar to me and yet hovers just beyond my grasp. Intriguing stuff.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1.  Drone Carrying Dread
2.  Incinerator
3.  Centurion
4.  Maiden Star
5.  Misery
6.  Glorybox
7.  Blacksmith
8.  Krüller
Tristan Shone – All instruments, vocals
Record Label: Relapse Records


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Edited 07 February 2023

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