Autumn Eternal • Panopticon

9 September 2019

Panopticon is a Kentucky-based folk metal band. What is folk metal, you ask? The only difference from black metal is the incorporation of bluegrass. So far, Panopticon has released three albums and gained a loyal following since their first album, “Kentucky.” You might think it would take a genius to figure out how to combine bluegrass and black metal and make it sound good. Yet Panopticon has always been able to do this well.

“Autumn Eternal” is a fitting name for the album since it was released in the fall. As for the execution, Panopticon makes black metal sound a lot prettier than many similar bands. The album is over an hour long, so expect a lengthy journey that includes pretty tremolos, bluegrass influences, atmospheres of sheer beauty, and many other intriguing sounds not often heard in the metal genre.

The music feels like an epic story from a George R.R. Martin novel, but in between the epic segments, we get small breaks that seem to say, “Here – enjoy the beauty of the forests and villages before your inevitable death.” I could gush on and on about how the beauty behind the black metal fits so perfectly. One final note: it has only been a year since Panopticon’s last release; I guess genius just comes naturally for them. I really don’t see any problems here. It’s brutifal in all the right ways.

I give this album a 10/10.

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