Author And Punisher - Melk En Honing - (7/10)
Published on July 22, 2015
Author and Punisher, the industrial act by Tristan Shone, has been releasing some quite interesting music within the genre for the past 11 years. Recently signed to the Phil Anselmo label Housecore Records, 2015 gives us the project’s latest installment, Melk En Honing. Tristan takes his homemade machines through a near 55 minute journey of pounding beats and some near cathartic melody, but ultimately falls a little short of greatness.
This album features plenty of drone/industrial qualities, from the repetition in the lyrics and the cold and mechanical instrumentation, but features quite a good bit of melodic passages and vocals which really help the album not feel oppressive 100% of the time, but still demands attention to truly grasp everything going on. Pounding machines, nearly uncomfortable noises and abrasive screams abound on this release, which is usually interesting at the very least, and entrancing at its best. The sounds are heavy, and repetitive during Melk, yet only seems to drag a little around the mid-point. The beginning and end of the record are paced very well, starting with the more heavy side before delving into some softer sections around “Future Man”. Lyrically, Author and Punisher does utilize repeating lyrics, but the lyrical content is dark, and fits the overall sound created here that it tends to work more often than not.
The production on Melk En Honing is very well done, bringing all the elements of the performance to the forefront, and the voice is mixed perfectly along with the instrumentation that nothing feels like its being overshadowed, but also has enough nuances that multiple listens are required to full take in the songs and experience them as intended. However, as stated before, there are a few tracks that drag a little and seem to be quite a bit longer than needed. A little more restraint could have made the tracks that much stronger without losing any of their identity within the context of the album as a whole. Further, there are some of the elongated sections throughout the overall entirety of the LP could have been trimmed down a little here and there while still allowing the pieces to express what they need to. A fairly small issue to some, but one that does feel large enough to take down some of the enjoyable aspects being presented.
As this stands, Melk En Honing is without question one intense experience. Cold, dark and unsettling more often than not, and a piece that demands to be presented as more than just background music. However, that can be a negative as well at times, and it just feels like an exercise to get through in one listen on occasion. Fans of the band and the industrial/drone sound can check this out and walk away plenty satisfied, but it does feel as if it won’t stand as a classic in the genre.