I was late to the Panopticon party, only recently getting into the genre-bending 2012 opus Kentucky, which melded bluegrass and atmospheric black metal. Seemed like an odd premise to me at first. Considering I despise most bluegrass and black metal is a hit or miss genre for me, so combining both of them seemed like a dubious prospect to me, even though I felt like the idea was worth exploring. Turns out it works quite well, and I’m loving Kentucky. It’s great to know that a band out of my home state is actually pushing music forward.
On top of Kentucky, Panopticon’s new split with Vestiges has been making rounds on our playlists. I reviewed the split recently, and I recommend it as one of the year’s highlights so far. Luckily, we won’t have to wait much longer for even more new Panopticon material, as it was just announced that a yet another split EP was in the works, this time with Maine’s folk/black metal act Falls of Rauros.
New material from Panopticon and Falls of Rauros, 2 of the US’s most prominent and prolific black/forest/heathen metal bands, will be unleashed by Bindrune in the form of a split 12”. Limited to 500 copies (with a download card), this split features exclusive to vinyl only material that was inspired by both bands time spent together in Norway. The mountains, landscapes, and memories of living and studying in Norway have crept into Austin/Panopticon’s ever evolving sound to embody more of a stripped down and dark Norwegian BM atmosphere for this release. Falls of Rauros further embrace the style and voice found on “The Light that Dwells in Rotten Wood”, while becoming more fierce one moment, and even more tranquil the next in their own vibrant and fulfilling way. This unique sense of self and overall vision set forth by both musical entities is a refreshing breath of fresh air as black metal as a whole struggles with it’s worldwide popularity and fleeting muse. Panopticon offers 4 sharply grim anthems (3 sung in Norwegian) for their side, while Falls arrives with 2 lengthy songs. More info will be shared as it solidifies, but mastering is close at hand and we will be announcing pre-orders soon.
I’ve been digging splits lately in the realm of black metal, as it’s a genre I’m still sinking my teeth into. I just love finding new bands through association. As soon as this release was announced, I pulled up Falls of Rauros tracks on YouTube, and they too are a band that combines North American folk music with black metal. ‘March of Valorous Bane’ struck me as an incredible song in particular.
Can’t wait until this split is released. As much as I’d enjoy a new Panopticon full-length, this path of discovery is too good to pass up. We’ll have more when it’s announced!