Ursus Americanus (Seventh Rule)
By Mike Delano
The dystopian mecha-future that Fear Factory and Sarah Connor tried to warn us about finally has a soundtrack. Eschewing all organic sounds (except for vocals), Ursus Americanus‘ steely electronic doom is composed entirely from machines that Tristan Shone, Author & Punisher‘s only member, created and manipulates in his studio.
For all the cold, robotic sounds that one might expect to hear on the album, though, it’s actually quite lively and unpredictable. “Terrorbird” is the lumbering, welcome-to-the-apocalypse stomp you were prepared for, but before long, the sparse, warm tones of “Mercy Dub” pull you in another direction. The downright sensual inhale/exhale vibe of “Lonely” sounds less like programmed moving parts and more like an alternate take at scoring Björk’s “All Is Full Of Love” video. You know, the one with the robots making out.