Panopticon – “Roads to the North” review

Panopticon is the black/folk metal solo project of Kentucky born multi-instrumentalist Austin Lunn & this is his 6th full-length album under the moniker. The album is a follow-up to his previous album Kentucky & I see a lot more progression in Austin on this album over here. Like the last album, we’re still getting a dosage of black metal like on the tracks Where the Mountains Pierce the Sky or In Silence & we’re also getting a dosage of pure bluegrass like on the tracks The Long Road I: 1 Last Fire or Norwegian Nights, but they’re both being incorporated much better & more beautifully on here (especially the banjos which we normally don’t hear in metal music). The vocals are pretty fitting for each track too like with the abrasive shrieking on the opener The Echoes of a Disharmonic Evensong or to go back to Norwegian Nights, which feature some pretty melancholic cleans. In conclusion this album is atmospheric, sad, beautiful, cohesive & well crafted all in a little over an hour. If you wanna know how metal & folk should be fused properly, this is right up there with Agalloch’s The Mantle & even Negură Bunget’s OM

Score: 4.5/5

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