Author & Punisher - KRÜLLER
Released 2022 by Relapse Records
Rare is the moment when I get nervous writing about an album. The reason is never because an album is not to my liking; I write down my comments and critical reception with ease and pass it on to the artist in hopes they will either take what I have to say with integrity, or just overall have a polite response to it. No, the reason why I get nervous when writing about albums is when they are thrilling, fantastic, and overall grand in scale. I wonder to myself, as I type the words in my reviews, if what I’m writing will do the music that I find so majestic justice. Most of the time I don’t believe that they do as persuasive words cannot sway as do the sounds from a record. My thoughts and expressions based on Author & Punisher’s most recent album “KRÜLLER” fall in line with what has been expressed thus far.
“KRÜLLER”, from the very start, is a grueling and oppressive mix of industrial mechanics and doom metal drones. This style has become synonymous with the engineer turned musical punisher Author & Punisher. My journey with “KRÜLLER” and Author & Punisher in general began with ‘Drone Carrying Dread’, as I had never listened to the project before. Nonetheless, from the first dirty drone that came forth from the song to the first percussive blast at the twenty-four second mark did I understand I was going to be hooked on whatever he was serving up. What we get in ‘Drone Carrying Dread’ is both a song filled with social commentary – whether intentional or not – as well as masterful synth works carried by dominating beats and raw instrumentation.
The crushing beats continue into ‘Incinerator’. Giving way the synths for industrial metal and sludge influences, Author & Punisher exchanges his smooth vocals for guttural cries and anger. ‘Centurion’ simply sounds like it was manufactured inside of a machine warehouse, but that makes sense considering Author & Punisher forged his own instrument to create the very sounds I hear on “KRÜLLER”. ‘Maiden Star’ harkens back to the industrial / drone influences found on ‘Drone Carrying Dread’. However, instead of being dark and oppressive, there’s a very hopeful overtone to the entire track. It’s as if this is a song meant to take us deep into space where a hope for a brand-new life can be explored.
‘Misery’ pulls inspiration from drum’n’bass as noted during the quieter verse sections where the percussion dominates. During the chorus, however, those lighter percussive beats turn into massive crunchy monsters that give ‘Misery’ the Author & Punisher edge. ‘Glorybox’ is a melancholic track through and through, but the sheer volume of noise, effects, and samples that come through almost transforms into a noise wall. It’s an absolute blast, however, as through this noise every layer, every sound, and every beat is still audible. ‘Blacksmith’ is a chaotic song that utilizes further drum’n’bass elements combined with electronic samples, and further screams from Author & Punisher. This is a track that will probably detract from the mainstream audience, but fans of experimental music will fall right in love. The final song on the album is the title track ‘KRÜLLER’. It goes back to doing what I love the most about the sound palette on this album: it combines heavy drones with heavier industrial percussion and underlying doom metal guitars. This seven-minute and twenty-two second finale is glorious.
As I come to an end with Author & Punisher’s “KRÜLLER” I can simply say that I am more than intrigued by what this man has accomplished on the album. Not only is he able to combine multiple genres into one, but he’s able to do it through a custom fabricated machine. And, if that’s not industrial, I don’t know what is. I come full circle when I say that it’s hard to tell whether or not I did this album justice with mere words. But, if my words have done nothing than I implore you to listen to at least the first track. Because if that doesn’t have you hooked, then I don’t know what will. Eight-and-a-half out of ten.Mar 15 2022
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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