Author & Punisher – Beastland


Author & Punisher - Beastland (Relapse Records) 2018


The man-machine cacophony of Tristan Shone was once an intriguing side-show attraction, a crushing amalgamation of steel and sinew that the metal world viewed with curiosity and the industrial scene rightly saw as the birth of something extraordinary, but his last few releases have done a lot to bridge those two worlds. Beastland keeps that rigid pulse, a sense of cold metronomic precision, but wields it more organically to create moments of soaring gothic gloom (“The Speaker Is Systematically Blown”) and chaotic flurries of noise and rage (“Ode To Bedlam”); even when he does revert to more familiar industrial tropes, there is such a sense of malice and purpose behind it that Shone’s voice cuts through the leaden bass hammer-drops and bee-hive drone. Whether you class this as his finest work depends on where your loyalties lie, namely with the cold primitivism of Drone Machines or with the more humanist leanings of his recent excursions, but no matter which side you lean towards, this is a truly remarkable work of biomechanical art.

Words: David Bowes
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