Panopticon black-metal band - Roads to the North album  » Music  »
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  • The band is sole member Austin Lunn, who in my opinion is an amazing multi-instrumentalist
  • I think this album does a great job combining the elements of harshness and beauty
  • I love the song “Norwegian nights” on this album
  • Not only is it one of my favorite tracks on the album but I find the track to be essential in the track listing of this album because I find it to be a nice counterpoint from the harder, aggressive songs
  • There is some much variety on this record that in my opinion comes together so well for the most part

    • by Marc Wilson
      TRUSTWORTHY

      all reviews
      Panopticon is a one-man black-metal band from Louisville, Kentucky. The band is sole member Austin Lunn, who in my opinion is an amazing multi-instrumentalist. In the album Roads to the North, Panopticon not only brings in your typical instruments (guitars, drums and vocals) that you find in a rock/metal band but also brings in woodwinds, string instruments and other instrumentation which I find to be very fascinating. I’m truly enamored by Panopticon’s ability to bring in black metal with folk music in Roads in the North. Occasionally on some of these tracks, there are fiddle solos, a banjo solo and I find that this type of instrumentation makes the record pretty easy to listen to. Even if you’re not one of those individuals who enjoy black metal, throughout some of the black metal moments on this record, there is a very strong element of melody.

      I think this album does a great job combining the elements of harshness and beauty. There are tracks in this record that are purely bluegrass. For example the track, “The Long Road Parts 1”, consists of plucked guitars and there is a fiery fiddle solo. When I listen to the track, I feel as if I’m


      on the edge of my seat due to this very fast tempo, even though the track in its entirety is very acoustic. I love the song “Norwegian nights” on this album.

      I find it has a very oppressive, sad, despair feeling. I love the fiddles and guitars, which in my opinion are filled with misery, and how they are played with a very slow tempo, although I will say that the vocals of that track are very cold and lifeless. Not only is it one of my favorite tracks on the album but I find the track to be essential in the track listing of this album because I find it to be a nice counterpoint from the harder, aggressive songs. The harder heavier songs on this record in my opinion are the crux of this album. Even though most of them are incredibly long (most of them reach up to nine to twelve minutes per track), I find that the extra instrumentation makes each of these tracks epic, twisted and adventurous.

      For example, the first track of this album “The Echoes of a Disharmonic Evening” has a flurry of drums and guitars, including the fiddles. The fiddles in my opinion bring a chaotic beauty which I typically find when I listen to black metal music. The track also has a very thematic riff that breaks up these melodic fiddle parts. Also, going back to the guitars on this song, I find them to be very fiery and aggressive and also throughout the record as well, with this very fast tempo and a really great sense of melody. Every track on this record in my opinion, regardless of how long each of them is, is very versatile, utilizes dynamics very well and is always progressing.

      For example, in the track, “The Long Road Part 2”, towards the end of the song, it progresses into what I find this very chill, laidback, subtle, progressive rock passage with stellar chord progressions and the rhythm, even though it feels to me unbalanced, feels so relaxed. As the track progresses, it gets a post-rock vibe with, what I would describe, very ethereal soaring guitars coming in as well. This post-rock feel continues onto the intro of the next track “The Long Road Part 3”. I just find it very nice to have this long range of beautiful rock instrumentation, which I believe beautifully, complements the ...


      • Panopticon black-metal band - Roads to the North album
      harsher, aggressive parts of this record because even though they are great and I really enjoy them, the aggressive parts are very unrelenting, they just don’t let up. I think it partially has to do with the fact that the production is pretty rough because the drums, guitars, and the string instruments feel a little cramped.

      A lot of times, Austin Lunns vocals are buried underneath all the instrumentation. But the record limitations in my opinion don’t stop Panopticon from recording some really grim and beautiful subtleties into these songs. For example at the end of “The Long Road Part 3”, there is this beautiful combination of both death and black metal vocals. One of my favorite songs on the record “Where the Mountain Pierce the Sky” starts with this very beautiful acoustic intro which progresses into what I would call this anthemic black metal hymnal which I find to be invigorating and kind of uplifting. The song gives off this immense feeling of glory and power.

      The last song on this record “Chase the Grain” is in my opinion the most epic, cinematic and climatic song on this record. There is a ridiculous amount of instrumentation on this track including

      the strings and bells. I believe this song could be placed into a soundtrack and it would’ve sounded great compared to other tracks on that soundtrack. Even though I am not a black metal enthusiast, I do enjoy the genre when it brings in epic moments to an album. Panopticons album Roads to the North in my opinion accomplishes that feat without trying to be the most bloodiest and righteous black metal album.

      Although there are the obvious black metal influences, the fact that this album is influenced by American Folk and Bluegrass gives it a different melodic feel. There is some much variety on this record that in my opinion comes together so well for the most part. Of course there are tracks that I felt paled in comparison to others such as “in silence” which I think is the most unorganized on the record but overall I find this to be a very diverse album. I find that this album is filled with great instrumentation such as aggressive, relentless drums, great guitar compositions with a mixture of woodwinds, and string instruments such as the fiddle. This album is such an intense long listen and one of the most epic records that I’ve heard this year.




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The review was published as it's written by reviewer in September, 2014. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 1415091638251230/k2311a0915/9.15.14
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