Skip to main content
Loading...

Author & Publisher - Beastland Music Album Reviews


The industrial music and metal sculptures of Tristan Shone can sound and look scary. But there are songs and even soul lurking beneath the grim façade.

If you or I wanted to mess with the pitch of an electronic bass signal, we’d probably plug in the nearest $50 MIDI controller and have at it. But we are not Author & Punisher. When Tristan Shone, who has made music under that justly severe moniker since 2005, wants to mess with such a pitch, he gears two high-torque motors to a pair of throttles, giving them autopilot and force-feedback functions. When he performs, it looks like he’s trying to fly an X-Wing with a bad steering rack into the Death Star.

Though he had already issued a few albums of moody industrial music before 2010, those throttles were the first “drone machines” the San Diego-based robotics engineer with a master’s degree in sculpture designed and fabricated. Shone literalized the idea of sonic sculpture, fusing the ethereal and the physical into an industrial metal vision. This tension characterizes Shone’s cursed soundscapes, too, which rampage between rhythm and randomness, melody and mayhem, infernal depths and screaming heights.

Eight years and a half-dozen releases later, Shone has released his Relapse debut, Beastland. His arsenal has grown to include so many forbidding prosthetics and devices he’s like a Rube Goldberg war machine stamping out arty Godflesh songs in stainless steel, his industrial core sprouting tumors of doom, drone, noise, and, covertly, pop. Metal vocals are recessed inside demonic sub-bass, concussive percussion, and skirling frequencies. Whether simmering or exploding, these eight three-to-six-minute tracks are exercises in perpetual combustion, a burning darkness expending some unnaturally limitless fuel.

Most of Shone’s creations are not instruments, per se. Some merely capture vocals in the most ominous sense of the verb, portending torture to follow—his elephantine drone mask, his fetish-y trachea mic, his Bane-style headgear. Others control electronic sounds. His “Linear Actuator” is visually suggestive of both a railgun and a tank tread, while “Rails” looks like some cruel factory press poised to remove a machine worker’s arm. These devices are not just for show; they meaningfully shape the sounds Shone makes. Instead of being designed for ease, his controllers fight back, offering physical resistance and semi-predictable outcomes, sewing chaos instead of order.

But make no mistake: In part, they very much are for show, concretizing the sonic shocks of his albums, which can’t help but pale beside his live sets. The pronounced vibe of James Wan-style medical horror and medieval torture loudly states the music’s creepy aspirations, as if the nightmare-fuel vocal sample that appears a couple of times, first on “Nihil Strength,” leaves any doubt as to what kind of story this is. Shone valorizes the effort of both creation and consumption, pitched against an increasingly frictionless world. “Pharmacide” opens Beastland with a bass frequency I can't listen to on headphones, at any volume; it feels like a black hole opening in my brain. This is not just a performance of sound, but of struggle between human and machine.

Or, let’s be honest, man and machine. I’m not usually drawn to bellicose, self-consciously transgressive personas and sounds. I like music with a lot of softness, space, and curves. But under all the aggressive metal gestures here, it’s impossible to miss the songful gestures embedded in Beastland. Shone’s cold fury lashes the listener, but it’s laced with warmer emotional undercurrents of nostalgia for the raw, ragged soul of 1990s alt and indie rock. At its most inviting, Beastland sounds like the Melvins, Dinosaur Jr., or fucking Candlebox playing a festival stage over from Sunn O))), mostly getting drowned out.

Tell me you don’t hear it on “Ode to Bedlam” or “The Speaker is Systematically Blown,” a prettiness pooled beneath poisoned tonality, righteous chord progressions trying to pound through the calamity. Or tell me you don’t hear a humanizing hint of self-conscious comedy in the overstated ghoulishness of that “Nihil Strength” sample. No one without a sense of humor would fashion oversize control knobs sheerly to mock brow-knitting DJs, anyway. I’ve got one for him, then: Make something out of nine-inch nails.


View the original article here

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

2019 BMW i8 Review

The 2019 BMW i8 is a head-turner for its looks, which hides its plug-in powertrain. That’s good or bad, depending on your priorities.Even among six-figure cars with two doors, the 2019 BMW i8 steals stares. That could be because of the dramatic wing doors and futuristic shape, its laser headlights at night, or the 2019 i8’s silent propulsion for up to 18 miles.
Or it may steal attention because, even after more than four years on sale, it’s a very rare sight.

LG G5 Review In-Depth

Can LG take on the Galaxy S7 with a metal design, dual-cameras and an accessory slot? Here's our first LG G5 review, focusing on LG G5 design and build, LG G5 specs, LG G5 cameras and LG G5 software and apps.
Alongside the Galaxy S7, the LG G5 is one of the biggest phones (not literally) to launch in 2016 – and we're not just talking in the Android world. It's one of the heavyweights and LG will be looking to set the market alight with the G5's alternative and innovative modular design.

Apple iPhone XR Review

If you aren't sure you are ready to leave the Home button behind and embrace Face ID, think again. We'll tell you why the iPhone XR is worth the sacrifice - especially because it's just as good (if not better than) the iPhone XS. Find out more in out full review.
Should I Buy The Apple iPhone XR?
The iPhone XR brings Face ID to the masses. We’re sure people will continue to rebel against the lack of Home button, but eventually we expect them to come round and embrace the larger screen, Portrait mode (front and back), animoji and memoji.We have no doubt that this will be a popular iPhone and it deserves to be. The only question is why would anyone buy an iPhone XS when the iPhone XR is just as powerful and has a bigger screen.

Google Pixel Review

Not everyone wants a phone with a big screen, but most small-screen phones compromise on performance and cameras. Not so with Google’s latest flagship Android phone: Here’s our Google Pixel review.
Joining the ranks of the Pixel C and Chromebook Pixel are Google’s new Pixel phones. We’re reviewing the smaller 5in Pixel here, but you can read our separate Pixel XL review if you’re after a bigger phone.

BlackBerry KEYone Review

BlackBerry soliders on with a curious Android device that gets nearly everything right. It’s not for everyone though, in fact, it’s not really for anyone. But if you want a physical keyboard you will absolutely love it.
Should I Buy The BlackBerry KEYone?
But then, the KEYone is the best BlackBerry phone for years. It has (finally) successfully melded classic BlackBerry design with the necessary mix of Android and nostalgia. Importantly, the latter is only faint this time – this is a device for 2017, not 2007.If you love your iPhone or Samsung, you’ll hate the KEYone and won’t even consider buying it. But if you’ve made it to the end of this review, chances are you’re weighing up a buy. If you think you’ll love the BlackBerry KEYone, then I’m pretty certain you won’t be disappointed. You’re part of a minority, but finally BlackBerry has a phone for you that doesn’t force you to compromise.

Like Fan Page