I can almost hear the keyboard warriors firing up their anger now, pudgy fingers trembling orgasmically, spittle flecking their pasty, sunlight-deprived chops as they prepare to get on the social networks to deride Metal as Fuck for daring to cover something that’s ‘NOT FUCKING METAL, DUDE’… but I’ll tell you what, Try subjecting yourself to this, the latest outpouring of misery and desolation from Tristan Shone’s Author & Punisher outlet at chest-crushing volume and then til me it ain’t heavy – that’s right, you won’t be able to do it.
Coming on like a rhythmless incarnation of Godlfesh or a distillation of all the most tuneless aspects of Neurosis, there’s no doubts that A & P deliver the nightmarish goods. Opening track Terrorbird is pretty much perfect as an opening manifesto, and it's as close to anthemic as this sort of stuff gets. More normal is the twitching, schizophrenic pulse of Set Flames, a genuinely unsettling noisescape punctuated with some suitably industrial crashing but being carried along on otherworldly, disembodied half-voices that are genuinely unsettling if you allow them to be.
What makes all of this genuinely noteworthy is the fact that Shone generates all this racket on ‘instruments’ he’s made himself (have a gander at www.tristanshone.com where he shows you all about the equipment that he’s developing). The upshot of this is that there’s a curiously organic air about the project, despite the mechanistic trappings, and the noise generated is at least as convincing as anything created by Author & Punisher’s rather more prosaic, instrument-wielding genre peers.
It’s all unlistenable to the gumbies of course, who on not spying any guitars in evidence will stroke their beards knowledgably before making the dread ‘not metal’ declaration, and there’s absolutely nothing on display here to convince anyone who’s a doubter as to the validity of this kind of malarkey. But if you’ve a broader set of cognitive processes than that, and you appreciate the power and value of a bloody great noise just for the sake of it, then Ursus Americanus will reveal itself to be a veritable box of noisy delights. Get involved.