Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Author & Punisher "Pressure Mine" (2018)

California musician and one man band Tristian Shone caught my attention with his recent documentary on the popular Noisey channel. Hailed as "Industrial Doom Metal" the more intriguing aspect of his music were the live performances, marked by the use of custom built controllers which are normally simple knobs, dials and sliders. In Shones case hes hand built big, weighty metallic contraptions, industrial in nature, that require some sweat and phsicality to manipulate as he pushes and pulls these machine like contraptions to forge the details of sounds formed by the VSTs on his DAW. Unfortunately its not obvious in audio form, his custom controllers are used in the composition and recording of the five tracks on this EP but they make no audible distinction from an expectant range of sounds that grace this short record. I wouldn't call it novelty, in fact I think its a fantastic approach to make the music more physical and involved but that only comes across in the live show. 

Pressure Mine celebrates a lack of comfort, wellness or embrace. Its textural journey travels through sterile dystopian soundscapes into the crevasses caught between darkness and evil. The mechanical grinding and whirls of truly Industrial machinery sound rich and detailed in construct yet spacious and devoid of intent. They mull away, acting as the percussive line while saddened, lost, catatonic melodies drift though, comatose and absent from surroundings. Tristian's voice lays bare and vulnerable in a soft small room reverb. Its cold, icy and distance from the other elements and initially seemed to lack some power. The chemistry makes more sense with repeated listens, as one gets their head around the atmosphere and abstract source of melodic value, his voice really becomes like a light drowning in the lifeless machinery its surrounded by.

The whole record works as a textural treat, the slow punishing drive of Doom Metal guides the rhythm to focus on its mechanics, never drifting into grooves or breaks and going slow enough to let each hit strike with shape and aesthetic. The music has a drone like quality as the pace crawls away steadily, obscure, haunting sounds drifting like echos and forming some notation to stir bleak emotions in this chilling environment. Nine Inch Nails have a a big and obvious impact on the constructs of this sound but its just an influence. Although the ties are strong and clear Tristian takes that inspiration to very interesting places within these five unforgiving songs.

Rating: 6/10