Austin Lunn – Everything and anything
Of all the myriad of experimenting black metal one-man projects, Austin Lunn‘s Panopticon is one of the absolutely most interesting.
After a somewhat searching debut, Lunn has increasingly moved into what could be known as post-black territory, all the while fervently experimenting and exploring.
While maintaining the complete and utter destructive capabilities of black metal, Lunn has clearly also an interest in the longing and emotional reach found in post-rock and -metal, and often in compositions on albums from Collapse (2009) and forward, interchanging between all-out punishment and soothing acoustic passages.
And perhaps nowhere as dramatic and well-implemented as on the amazing album Kentucky (2012), a concept album eminently describing Kentucky and the coalmining industry, using both interview clips, sound-recordings and (to great effect) blue-grass renditions of old union-traditionals like Come All Ye Coal Miners and Which Side Are You On, interspersed with tightly focused, raging black metal that underlines the general blue-collar focus of the album.
Come All Ye Coal Miners, from the album Kentucky
It is an album filled with both love (for the people and the land) and loathing (for the corporations and the bosses).
On his later albums, Lunn manages to create some of the most beautiful, atmospheric black metal, exploring on his way among other things classic metal, prog, avantgarde… well, almost anything… always cinematic in scope, always seeming to sense and express the dichotomy of things, like in nature versus humanity.
“To be honest, I can’t handle the current culture being bred by Internet metal. It’s faceless, demanding, imposing, narcissistic, chest puffing and judgmental. I just don’t want to be a part of it. That’s the reason I do so few interviews…with all the guns blazing, it’s only a matter of time until they get turned on me, and I just want to stay out of it.
When Roads to the North leaked, it was an extremely anti-climactic end to more than a year’s worth of hard work. To bust my ass to make the best record I could and have it leaked in subpar quality and be ridiculed by people, many of whom listened to the first two minutes and hollered, “Next!”…no thanks. I’ll pass on that. If people want my album, they know where to get it. I don’t feel the need to go overboard plastering my ugly mug all over the place. There are a lot better bands out there that deserve the attention more than me anyway, and they can put up with the headaches and heartbreak a hell of a lot better than I can.”
Austin Lunn, interviewed by Decibel in December 2015
On a personal level, Panopticon seems to be effortlessly joining two parts of my own personality, which I have not been particularly accustomed to seeing joined outside of myself – the raging against the world as such, and the hope and love of vision of a possible better world/humanity – one that could almost be prophetically written as “when the dark meets the downtrodden of the world, kings and queens will crumble and a new glorious winter of happiness will arrive…”
Panopticon will most certainly wash over the audience like a cleansing fire this April, when they perform in Het Patronaat on Friday, April 20 and in 013 on Saturday, April 21. Friday will showcase new songs from an upcoming double album. Saturday will focus on the rich back-catalog.
A Samuel Claeys Film https://empathicstudio.com/ We are looking for new shooters in NYC, LA, Bay Area, Berlin, Paris, London, Tokyo, Australia and elsewhere. For details contact email@example.com http://unartignyc.com http://www.facebook.com/UnartigOfficial Panopticon playing live in St. Paul, MN at Turf Club on December 28, 2017 http://unartignyc.com/money-for-nothing/ https://thetruepanopticon.bandcamp.com/
Full live-set from Turf Club, December 28, 2017
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