Panopticon | Artist

Panopticon | Artist

Tags: Era_2000s, Gender_Male, Genre_Folk, Genre_Metal, Origin_USA, Type_Artist

Panopticon is an American black metal project founded 2007 by Austin Lunn (vocals, multi-instruments) in Louisville Kentucky. Beginning as a studio-only effort with Lunn writing all the songs and playing all instruments, Panopticon has since expanded to include a lineup of musicians for live performances. The project's sound has been characterised as black metal with influences from bluegrass and Appalachian folk, with the addition of instruments such as banjo, fiddle, bells, and acoustic guitar. Lunn's lyrics often include references to environmentalist philosophers and proponents of political anarchy. He has also tackled precise topics like the US foster care system, the subjugation of Native Americans, and blue-collar labor policy. A self-titled debut album was released in 2008, but the first album to attract critical acclaim was Kentucky from 2012. Panopticon has gone on to release 19 studio albums to-date, highlights include Kentucky (2012), Roads to the North (2014), Autumn Eternal (2015), And Again Into the Light (2021), The Rime of Memory (2023), and the live album Live Migration from 2020. Decibel magazine ranked And Again into the Light at number five on its list of the Top 40 Albums of 2021, and Rolling Stone named it the tenth best metal album of 2021. Quietus magazine wrote of Panopticon: "San Francisco’s Weakling really put America on the black metal map with their 2000 debut Dead As Dreams, an album that introduced a denser, more elaborate and organic sounding variant on the genre that formed the blueprint for late-2000s bands like Wolves In The Throne Room, Krallice and Ash Borer, among many others. But none of these acts sounded quite as distinctly American as Panopticon, with Lunn’s unique fusion of bluegrass elements setting his project apart from his peers". Politics also sets Lunn apart from many black metal acts from Norway and Finland who also frequently incorporate elements of their native folk music into their metallic din. Lunn has always rejected the nationalistic ethos that can often accompany such bands, and as if to eradicate any doubt, the first song on Panopticon’s first record finds Lunn howling “the concept of nationalism robs us of our very nature”at the top of his lungs. In a scene plagued with crypto-fascists and outright Nazis, Panopticon’s outspokenly leftist lyrical stance was incredibly refreshing for a black metal band.

Artist Website:

Featured Albums: Panopticon

Related Artists: Austin Lunn

Listen on Apple Music

Share this Page