At first glance it might appear that Panopticon is just another
one-man black metal project, notable perhaps as the band/person is from
But peel back the layers a bit and one finds there's a lot going on here.
Atmospheric black metal is the core, but Austin Lunn (the man doing it
all here) also incorporates banjos, flutes, and even touches of bluegrass
into the proceedings, thus imbuing songs with a unique take on
Lyrically there is often a political stance of one form or another
at play, such as the exposé on the Kentucky coal-mining industry that
comprises (naturally) the Kentucky album, or social injustices on
The album reviewed here, 2012's Roads To The North, truly hits on
all cylinders, there is tremendous depth here that, as previously implied,
might take a few listens to absorb.
There have been several American bands with solid takes on black metal,
and Panopticon should be lauded with the best of them.
Recent album: ... And Again Into The Light,
released on May 15, 2021.