When I discovered Author & Punisher back in 2018 at Blowup festival in Helsinki, I was blown away with the uniqueness and creativeness of the project. The industrial doom that Tristan Shone literally bangs out with his machinery is damn-right impressive, captivating and one of a kind. So whenever A & P is in the neighborhood, you can count on me being there if it’s any bit possible. Looking at the usual industrial fare that Elektrik Products usually brings to Finland, I was kind of surprised to see this act being booked by them but hey, I’m not complaining. They fleshed out the line-up of the night with their friends of Eggvn and Pedigree, turning it into a promising night of harsh beats and heavy music.
Opening for the night was the Estonian industrial metal act Pedigree, a familiar sight after having seen them play at the Hellsinki Industrial pre-festival show back in November. Just like back then, we got served by an intense set of industrial metal with touches of sludge and doom and my comparisons of back then with Godflesh and old school Ministry still hold strong. The show was so solid, you wouldn’t even have realized that all of the guys except for the vocalist/guitarist were completely new members. The beats hit hard, coming from a drummer who seemed to have endless resources of energy, and the riffs created a wall of sound steadily coming at us from the smoke and light engulfed stage. Before we knew it, they thanked us for being there and the organization for inviting them for the gig and the set was over. It was simply a whirlwind of a show!
Learning to Die
The Gas Heart
One of Us Is Next
Buried In Water
Head Drug Rising
Surprising to me, the middle act of the night was the Mexican duo of Eggvn. Pedigree and Author & Punisher have both a sort of doomy and apocalyptic quality to their music, so having the occult/satan inspired more danceable aggrotech from these 2 guys with horned skulls seemed a little left-field to me. But no worries, when these guys take over a stage, they really know what they’re doing and quickly got a good chunk of the crowd dancing to their beats and music. Just recently they released the new album ‘La Era de la Bestia‘ and besides some fan favorites and classics, they played quite a few songs from that release. Despite some small technical issues during the show, they really went above and beyond to give everyone a good time and we can’t wait to catch them again some time. Maybe a next Hellsinki Industrial festival?
Author & Punisher
And then finally it was time for Author & Punisher. The tables with machinery got pulled to the front of the stage, lights set up and electronics turned on. As soon as everything seemed to be working, Tristan Shone took up his spot behind his creations and not a solo act anymore, his live guitarist and partner in crime Doug set up right besides him. Having been thoroughly impressed when seeing the act live earlier, expectations where high. And expectations where pretty much met. The addition of guitars to the whole doesn’t take away one bit of the uniqueness of the act and the melodies and intricacies that only someone playing a guitar could bring out, lifted everything to new heights. Tristan banged out the beats with his custom instruments and fiddled with buttons and sliders to crank out the droning industrial music I’ve come to love dearly, while he crooned and shouted the lyrics in his custom build microphone setup.
The setlist existed mostly out of tracks from his latest release ‘KRÜLLER‘, opening with ‘Drone Carrying Dread’ and ‘Incinerator‘, followed by the Adult Swim single ‘A Crude Sectioning’. Much to my delight, they played their rendition of Portishead‘s ‘Glorybox‘, a track that is also featured on that recent album and an absolutely masterful version which quickly became one of my favorite songs. Later on we still got the trio of ‘Centurion‘, ‘Maiden Star‘ and ‘Misery‘ from that same album, and fans of the ‘Beastland‘ era of Author & Punisher got treated with ‘Pharmacide‘ and ‘Nihil Strength‘. The venue seemed a perfect fit for an act like Author & Punisher and while the turnout wasn’t the most impressive maybe, everyone there was quickly taken by the music and I saw plenty of people move to the music in an almost cathartic way. Elektrik Products usually brings acts with a bigger “party factor” to Finland, but it seemed to me that bringing Author & Punisher was a good move and those not there really missed out on something special.
Done Carrying Dread
A Crude Sectioning
Glorybox (Portishead cover)
For more pictures of the night, go check out our photo report here.
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