Author & Punisher Credit: Maximilian Motel

Since 2004, San Diego’s Tristan Shone has been transforming himself into an extreme industrial metal cyborg he calls Author & Punisher. A mechanical engineer by trade, Shone built a series of “drone machines” and “dub machines”: heavy-duty steel sliders, levers, and knobs that add a factory-floor swing and tactile human weight to the midi samples and synth drones they control. Shone hit his stride on 2013’s Women & Children, creating a dynamic record that added emotional depth and forlorn melody to the skull-rattling electronic beats and explosive Nine Inch Nails-flavored darkness, all created live by his elaborate machinery. Since then, Shone’s engineering has only gotten more extreme; he’s now built a series of masks that allow him to augment his voice into hellish soundscapes, as well as a choker straight out of a medieval torture chamber, which presses hypersensitive contact mikes directly into his throat, where they turn even the slightest growl into crushing blasts of distortion. And as the creations Shone has developed have become more over-the-top, so has his music. On next month’s Beastland, his first full-length for Relapse, Author & Punisher is heavier, denser, and scarier than ever before—never once letting up its blown-out wall of sound. But as incredible as Shone’s records as Author & Punisher are, the best way to experience the project is in a live setting, where you can watch him fully delve into the persona and work with the weight of the machines in front of your very eyes.   v