|1.||...and Again into the Light|
|3.||Rope Burn Exit|
|4.||A Snowless Winter|
|5.||Moth Eaten Soul|
|6.||As Golden Laughter Echoes (Reva's Song)|
|7.||The Embers at Dawn|
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1 Review for 'Panopticon - ...and Again into the Light''...and Again into the Light'
Austin Lunn's Magnum Opus.
Mixing Atmospheric Black Metal with Americana is not a new thing, and you can even say that it's USA's biggest Metal export of the post-2000s! Among big names like Agalloch or Wolves in the Throne Room, I've always put Panopticon in a separate place in my heart!
His discography has been one of the most consistent in comparison to his peers. His unique way of mixing Folk music with Atmospheric Black Metal created one of the coldest and most sorrowful soundscapes I've ever come across. His previous album "The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness I and II", was a milestone in Nature-bound Atmospheric Black Metal (by the way, don't listen to the unplugged-like "...Scars II (The Basics)", it is not really a major release that people tend to mistake for a full-length). This album is pretty much the continuation of the concept and soundscape of the previous album.
One of the small improvements (in my opinion) is the shortened length and the number of songs in here. That was one of my main problems with the previous release. Also, the album feels more artistic and richer somehow. The musicianship is on its peak here.
The first song and the intro of the second song are full-on folk/Americana songs in the exact same style we encountered on the previous album. Although I'm not a big Americana/Country and Western fan, I have to say that these parts go well with the music. Also, the intro of the second song provides a Post-rock flavour as well, which is insanely nice! It does give an urban depression kind of vibe to the album.
When guitars roar into the room, you can feel a much heavier guitar tone and a more raw production compared with his previous efforts. I have to say, I'm very fond of the overall production, mixing and arrangements of this album.
There are some tightly executed guitar solos. The drums are perfectly in time and their volume in the mix is perfect. It gives this album the atmosphere that it deserves! Also, the non-metal passages, which are all over the album, give a perfect ambiance to the soundscape (and also tons of melancholic, chilling emotions!).
My favorite song here is the incredible third track, which provides some insane harmonies and some clever layering work. Another highlight must be the incredibly heavy "Moth Eaten Soul", which also has a great symphonic part that gives the album a weird Middle-eastern flavour (yummy!).
The seventh track starts with yet another Post-rock infused intro that also has a bit of Alternative music vibe going on. Even though the song eventually goes into the Black Metal mode, I have to say this intro is not my cup of tea.
Overall, this is probably my favourite Panopticon album so far. It showcases an insane amount of musicianship and great balance between heavy Black Metal parts and folky parts like no other album. This great balance, coupled with the excellent songwriting, provides a very unique melancholic, cold soundscape that you cannot miss! If you wanna headbang, go elsewhere, but if you want to feel a chill in your spine, this is the one!