(In this post DGR reviews the new album by Author & Punisher, which was officially released last week by Seventh Rule.)
One of the reasons that I got into heavy metal was the abrasive nature of it. Like a lot of folks, I was drawn to the rebellious ‘fuck you!’ aspect of the style, on top of the idea that it was ugly music for the ugly side of life. As I drifted further into the scene though, one of the things that always stuck out and made me excited was the machine-like nature that the music took on as it became heavier. People would play their instruments with the sort of finesse, accuracy, and technicality usually reserved for a machine, and it never stopped being incredible to me.
That’s probably why I found myself drawn to bands like Strapping Young Lad and Meshuggah. It’s probably the reason why I spent five minutes in a bathroom once, just standing there because the fan sounded like the drum beat to “Bleed”. However, unless you’re continually searching out music that is heavier and more intense until you finally land in noisegrind territory, even the heaviest bands can eventually feel a little sterile and safe. Sometimes you have to go outside your comfort zone for music that truly challenges you, still has that edge.
I write this in order to explain why a project like Author & Punisher appears here. It’s a one-man project consisting of custom-built machines being played that creates a cacophonous sort of drone and doom with some very light dubbed elements. Author & Punisher just recently put out a disc bearing the title of Women & Children. It’s an experiment that takes on an abrasive and hypnotic air as it drags the listener deeper into layers of noise, layered upon tons of bass and drums, all moving at a slow, monolithic, crushing pace – only to be occasionally interrupted by anguished screams and distorted robotic vocals that sound more like the low hum of an engine than anything human. Continue reading »