Panopticon, "On the Subject of Mortality" (p)review


Okay, this record is not out... yet. It will be out soon enough, and one way or another, it will make it to CD (in the way of two splits - one with When Bitter Spring Sleeps, the other with Skagos) and double vinyl - even, Austin tells us via the Panopticon myspace, if he must do it himself.

I for one am hoping it doesn't come to that, because this is an absolutely amazing record in just about every way. My love for Panopticon is well documented on this site, but putting that aside and being as objective a listener as I possibly can be, I am of the firm conviction that this record must (and will) go down as one of the true masterpieces of metal.

Panopticon is always heavy on the passion; it would seem that Mr. Lunn knows no other way to play, and that is by all means a good thing. But there are new levels of intensity and genius at work here, no doubt about it. The "political" (I use quotes because that word would almost seem to cheapen Panopticon's work) edge that Panopticon is known for is still here, but there are clearly some more personal themes (namely death) being explored on this record. The driving rhythms, propelled as always by the ferocious drumming, are as prominent as ever, but there is a melancholy pervading the album, revealing a beauty that cannot be touched by civilization and the destruction it brings about, even if that is part of what's causing the sadness in the first place.

Without getting too analytical, this would seem to be the most honest and revealing Panopticon record yet. It is organic, stripped naked, and uncompromising. It feels sad, yet somehow hopeful... that maybe, just maybe, there is a chance for us if we turn around fast. But maybe it's best to leave hope aside, knowing that all we really need to do is look in the mirror for the answers we need.

I promise you, readers, that when this record comes out, you will all be absolutely blown away. Here's to hoping the labels that will be issuing this realize what they've got their hands on.

4 comments:

bzx002 said...

Niice. I'm ready for this!

Cassandra-Leo said...

The samples on MySpace sounded amazing. I'll probably end up getting both the CD and the DLP.

SPna15 said...

I am eagerly awaiting this.

colin said...

can't wait.