Vestiges/Panopticon Split

I love a good split release. It allows me to branch out my musical taste in some ways and discover bands I wouldn’t have otherwise listened to if one of the bands involved is an established act that I’ve been aware of for some time. This year, split releases have been kind to us. Cough and Windhand released a stellar psychedelic doom split album Reflection of the Negative, Phil Anselmo and Warbeast wowed folks with their collaboration, and avant garde black metallers Smohalla and Omega Centauri came together for the post-black madness in Tellur — Epitome (more on that later this week!). The latest split that I’ve been enamored with is the atmospheric black metal release from Vestiges and Panopticon.

Many folks are aware of Panopticon, the one-man project from Louisville, Kentucky who notoriously combined the disparate sounds of bluegrass and black metal in the critically acclaimed 2012 concept record Kentucky. New music from Panopticon is a great prospect in itself, but the cherry on top is the introduction to Washington DC’s crust and d-beat influenced atmospheric black metal group Vestiges. Together, the two groups weave a collection of long and expressive songs that are surprisingly moving. Not only that, but the EP was mastered by Colin Marston of Krallice. We’ve got a formal review in the works, but don’t wait on us to tell you how good it is. Stream the split below.


Since the split is being serviced by two different labels and the bands themselves, there’s a number of options when it comes to actually obtaining this record for yourself:

The Flenser has the music available for free digital download and on vinyl in “color in color” or black for $16.
Replenish Records has the vinyl available in gatefold in transparent black/blue splatter and black for $16.
Panopticon’s Bandcamp has a digital download for his part of the split for $3, with proceeds going to Oklahoma disaster relief.
Vestiges Bandcamp has the entire EP available for $7.

It’s nice to have options.

– JR