In the pantheon of modern black metal coming out of the U.S., it’s hard not to consider someone like Austin Lunn as one of the more creative and interesting artists out there today. Having recently dropped The Rime Of Memory under his band Panopticon, we’re once again witnessing the man’s ability to take our expectations and directly subvert them.
Released last week on Bindrune, this one-man project really is the perfect soundtrack to the beginning of the winter season. Through The Rime Of Memory, Lunn shows exactly why he’s considered a master of the massive North American black metal sound. And while everything about the band feels icy and bleak like his Norwegian contemporaries, Lunn’s focus on this new record shows that the frozen planes of Minnesota are just as fertile ground for the creation of black metal at the highest levels.
Just as some of Panopticon’s previous releases like Kentucky and …And Again Into The Light, this record pulls in all kinds of elements like melodic death metal, atmospheric black metal, and plenty of folk. Songs are long and epic, and they all flow from one to the next seamlessly. Even though there are only six songs on the album, each one of them takes you on a journey.
Like with many records that are constructed this way, you really have to listen to it front to back to get the desired effect, as the songs all work together in a way that is clearly intentional. Still, there are definitely some stand-out tracks. “Cedar Skeletons” is definitely my personal pick for its superb guitar work and effortless sense of flow and cohesion. It’s one of the first tracks the band dropped from the album, and it stands out for a reason.
Another favorite is “I Erindringens Høstlige Dysterhet,” which is as strange and captivating as the title. It’s probably the most memorable riff-wise and one of the catchiest on the record, though most of the tracks on this album have strong riffs in addition to being ambient and progressive.
“Winter’s Ghost” is in my opinion a perfectly crafted black metal tune from its abrasive, layered guitar attack that makes you feel like you’re in a barren, frozen field on the coldest day of the year. And as an added bonus, almost every song on the record conjures up images of the cold or snow—as they should.
Whether or not you live in a currently frigid climate—much love to our southern hemisphere readers—it’s a frozen midnight somewhere, and with black metal this good, it’s never the wrong time to listen.
The post Review: Panopticon’s <em>The Rime Of Memory</em> is an Epic Reminder of Austin Lunn’s Excellence appeared first on MetalSucks.