It's weird to imagine a time when beautiful atmosphere and longing ambiance were thought to be the antithesis of extreme metal. Nowadays, the two aesthetics have long been mastered as complimentary. The post-whatever school of thought being the zeitgeist of the moment, it's no wonder how black metal has become so affected. Strange, considering that it's a genre seemingly built on an elitist exclusionary mindset, if stereotypes are to be trusted. Two bands cutting against this grain and bringing black metal out of bleak traditionalism and into oddly bright furtherance are Vestiges and Panopticon, whose split EP is a vibrant testimony for the American atmospheric black metal movement.