Monday 13 July 2015

Author & Punisher - ‘Melk En Honing’ (Album Review)

‘This is filthy music that throttles you somewhere between the borders of dark and dingy sludge/doom metal and synthesized drum n bass, electronic anarchy.’

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 29/06/2015
Label: Housecore Records

‘Melk En Honing’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). The Barge (08:10)
2). Cauterize (03:29)
3). Shame (07:50)
4). Future Man (07:21)
5). Disparate (08:34)
6). Callous & Hoof (07:08)
7). Teething (04:21)
8). Void, Null, Alive (07:06)


‘Melk En Honing’ is like the musical equivalent of an overly clingy, intense girlfriend. You know? The one who declares her undying love for you within days, makes collages of selfies and crappy song lyrics for you and cries when you umm and arr about her ‘cute idea’ that you should wear matching jumpers to your mates birthday? It all just gets a bit too much, a bit too leech like, as if the record is feeding off your entire being to survive, but draining you in the process.

Despite opener ‘The Barge’ coming in slowly, broodingly, building like the terrifying approach of Jaws in ocean waters, it is never anything less than oppressive, voracious and abusive. Certain aesthetics are drawn from the ilk of Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age here but are bastardised into a synth led demonization of noises that come at you like the Live Oak Boys of 19th century New Orleans.

You see, this record has loomed in my iTunes for a good few weeks now, if not longer, but occasions where I’ve had the gall to approach this album have been few and far between. This sure as hell ain’t easy listening, it’s about as digestible as a brick. But that’s the point of course, this is meant to be vicious and about as far away from any kind of mercy, apology or manners as you can get. This is filthy music that throttles you somewhere between the borders of dark and dingy sludge/doom metal and synthesized drum n bass, electronic anarchy. Imagine The Prodigy playing slower, lower and more aggressively in some rat infested basement and you get the general idea.

This album fucks you up; it plays havoc with your mind. It sends you spinning, it spaces you out. It affects you, but that’s the most important thing. Their achievements are on a par with drawing blood from a stone, veneering tones drawing a reaction from you, the listener, be those feelings ecstasy, disgust or, like me, a putrid hybrid of the two. It’s impressionable and impenetrable. You don’t so much as listen to this record but experience it, get haunted by it. 
‘Callous and Hoof’ resembles the chaos and impending doom and hopelessness of the Somme, gargling synths rattling your speakers like mortars and ‘Cauterize’ drowns a symphonic lease of life in a bloodied, horror film style soundtrack. Things aren’t what they seem once you are properly immersed within the album’s depths. Everything starts to become twisted, blurry and distorted like you’re walking through a house of mirrors.

‘Disparate,’ while clouded by producer Phil Anselmo’s purposefully dense and muddy mix, is underpinned by a fanged groove akin to the work Shining (NOR) produced on ‘One One One’ only with a more ominous Nine Inch Nails stomp and crawling pace.  

The tempo never rises above that of the heartbeat of a dying old dog, light never piercing the blacked out curtains that drape over their musical mantra. Listen to this album for too long and you will seriously drop into a different plain of existence, a place where nightmares in daylight seem, not so much possible as definitive. To recommend this record to the wide ranging Sludgelord populous would be like asking a baby to drink bleach, but for those of you out there who want to be scared to death, tortured and left for the crows, then ‘Melk En Honing’ is by far the most startlingly gripping and emotively dictating release 2015 has to offer.

Words: Phil Weller

‘Melk En Honing’ is available here and digitally here

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