Album: Author & Punisher, Ursus Americanus
Label: Seventh Rule Recordings
Release: April 24, 2012

1. Terrorbird
2. Lonely
3. Mercy Dub
4. Set Flames
5. Flesh Ants
6. Below and Above You
7. Ill Consuming


Holy bleeding ears Batman. What a fucking monster Ursus Americanus is. And it may be an actual monster inside this disc. If you are unfamiliar with this up and coming act, it’s one guy named Tristan Shone. Shone creates his own instruments to make sounds that regular instruments clearly can’t. And they are all giant slabs of ugly metal that turn into a mix of industrial and doom better called “the soundtrack to your nightmares.”

Shone released his first album in 2005 and now Ursus Americanus marks this fifth album overall. I’m ashamed that the first time I’ve ever heard of this guy was when I was sent this album to review. But to his credit, it was so damn good that it made me go back and buy his other four. If you listen in order what you find is that with each record, Shone gets louder and louder. I think if I would have heard 2010’s Drone Machines before this new album I would have assumed he couldn’t make anything more punishing, as that was a brillant slab of loud industrial music. But Ursus surely continues that trend.

The album opens up with “Terrorbird” which is simply a perfect title to describe the tune. It’s like a mechanical bird poking at your eardrums while the evil creator laughs maniacally. Then there’s “Set Flames” which is the first track since some Khanate stuff many years ago that would probably keep me awake at night. The track starts off slow and droning before some fierce mechanical percussion and ungodly screams from Shone. And on the harder side, I have to mention “Flesh Ants” which is a mind fuck of jolting industrial noise. Someone needs to make a movie around this track with some flesh eating ants. It would totally scare the shit out of me.

Strangely enough though, it’s one of the quieter moments on the disc that is my favorite. With no pause after “Flesh Ants” the disc takes a sharp dramatic turn to “Below and Above” which is a slow, mesmerizing doom piece which adds an element of static-y noise similar to what you might hear out of a theremin, mixing it throughout the track with a haunting keyboard rhythm.

Again though, the real amazing thing about Author & Punisher is that he creates all these instruments from scratch. And listening to the discs in chronological order makes it seem like he’ll experiment with a piece of equipment, find parts he really likes and then expand on them to create something new the next time around. He’s not the first person to create his own music like this but I’ve never heard it to quite this level before. Ursus Americanus is the sound of Iron Man swinging his giant metal cock around to destroy enemies. You know, if giant metal cocks did that sort of thing.

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About the Author

Dave Steed

Dave Steed is all about music; 80's and metal to be exact. His iPod will shuffle from Culture Club to Slayer and he won't blink an eye. He's never heard Astral Weeks but thinks "Dazzey Duks" by Duice is the bomb. It's an odd little corner of the world he lives in.

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