I mentioned in yesterday’s Seen and Heard post that I’ve been under the weather and wasn’t sure if I would be posting much this weekend. I still feel like a piece of frozen shit that’s leaking rivulets of mucus, but I suppose it’s a testament to my obsession with metal that I’ve nevertheless compiled the following playlist of new songs for your enjoyment. I really enjoyed all of them as well, despite the best efforts of the cold virus to turn all my joy into slag.
A couple of days ago DECIBEL magazine premiered a stream of a new song by Panopticon that’s included as a flexi disc in the new issue of the magazine (the one with Immolation on the cover). The song’s name is “Sheep In Wolves’ Clothing”. It was specially recorded for the flexi series, so I’m not sure whether it will appear on Panopticon’s new album. And yes, if you hadn’t heard, there will be a new Panopticon album in 2017.
(We are again fortunate to present another year-end list we eagerly await each year, from an immensely talented musician and a damned fine human being — Austin Lunn of Panopticon and Seidr.)
I have to apologize in advance for the length of this list. It has been a great year for metal in my opinion… many, many releases to enjoy and as a result my list is super-long. I cut some stuff for the the sake of brevity… and speaking of brevity, I will do my best to keep the accompanying blurbs short this time around.
This has been an intense year for me, and many of these albums will forever be the soundtrack for those memories in my mind…. so here goes:
EDITOR’S NOTE: The recently completed Migration Fest in Olympia, Washington, jointly organized by 20 Buck Spin and Gilead Media, was filled with memorable highlights, but perhaps the greatest of all was the first live performance by Panopticon, which closed the fest’s second night.
In a 90-minute set that cut across a broad swath of Panopticon’s albums, Austin Lunn was joined on-stage by drummer Ray Capizzo (Falls of Rauros), bassist Andy Klokow (who also performed live with Obsequiae), and guitarist Jake Quittschreiber (Circadian Ritual). The time seemed to fly by, and left an enthusiastic audience roaring their appreciation and their thanks. (We have five videos from that set, along with a more extensive review, here.)
And now we want to share another expression of gratitude, this time a thank-you letter from Austin Lunn himself to everyone who became a part of Migration Fest — and in this letter he discloses plans for the next Panopticon album as well as future live performances:
This is the second part of a three-part recap of the first Migration Fest in Olympia, Washington. For the first installment, covering the pre-fest show on August 11 and Day One on August 12, go here.
The first day of Migration Fest proved to be a very strong start to what I selfishly hope will become an annual tradition. If anything, Day Two topped it, in large part on the strength of a history-making performance by Saturday’s headliner — Panopticon — that was simply stunning.
At the end of this post I’ve embedded five videos from Panopticon’s 90-minute set, and I’ve got one video of Vastum in here, too. By tomorrow, I also plan to update this post (and yesterday’s recap of Day One) with videos of additional bands. For now, I’m including the best of my crappy cellphone photos, and some words of course.
Here are two more songs that I’m adding to our evolving list of 2015’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. They come from albums that I heard before most people did and then promptly reviewed — which says something about how powerfully they both affected me, given how few reviews I write and how delayed most of them turn out to be. I’ve been delighted to see how often both albums have appeared on year-end metal lists; they richly deserve the acclaim they have been receiving.
(To see the other songs that have been named to this list so far and to read about the criteria for the list as a whole, go HERE.)
I doubt anyone who follows our site on even a semi-regular basis will be surprised or disgruntled to see a song from Exercises In Futility on this list. However, I won’t be surprised if some of you prefer a different song. That’s inevitable, because the album is so loaded with infectious songs. As I wrote in my review:
(We are grateful that for the third year in a row Austin Lunn accepted our invitation to share his favorite releases from the year that’s about to end. He is, of course, the man behind one of ours: Panopticon’s Autumn Eternal.)
First off, sorry for the excessive length of my list this year. There was a lot of to choose from and a lot of records to listen to this year. I am sure that I have forgotten some excellent records, and immediately after this is published it’ll hit me. Please keep in mind that there is no particular order or ranking on this list… it is simply a list of records I really enjoyed this year, and I hope that others have, too.
As I explained in a previous round-up today, I managed to find some time to catch up on new things yesterday. The previous round-up focused on album announcements with artwork (and one very good new song), and in this one I’ve collected some new music streams plus one older one that has really gotten under my skin. Lots of music in here, but I hope you’ll give all of it at least a test drive.
I was one of the fortunate few who got an advance listen to Panopticon’s new album Autumn Eternal, and therefore I had my say about it in July (here). I won’t repeat or attempt to summarize that review, except to say that this is one of my favorite albums of the year. And today, everyone else gets to hear it, too — because it’s now available for streaming (and purchase) on Bandcamp.
I’ve accumulated quite a large number of interesting news items and new songs from my excursions through the interhole and the NCS in-box this weekend. In order to present more of them than I’m usually able to do, I’m going to do something that causes me great personal pain and undoubtedly will bring tears to the eyes of our faithful readers: I’m going to hold my own beautiful prose to a minimum and allow the music to speak for itself, largely without benefit of me as its interpretive intermediary.
Presented in alphabetical order:
Attan are a Norwegian band whose debut EP From Nothing will be released through Shelsmusic in limited-edition vinyl and digitally on November 30. The opening track, “Nocebo (I Shall Harm)” is now available for streaming on Soundcloud.
An avalanche of unhinged destructiveness; skull-fracturing drumbeats; spleen-rupturing riffs; aorta-rupturing vocals. Discordant and demented.
Panopticon’s sixth album, Autumn Eternal, is finished. It will be a long wait until most people have a chance to experience it — it’s not scheduled for release until October 16, 2015. But for an album inspired by and named for Autumn, it’s only fitting that it come with the changing of the colors in the trees and the first bite of chill in the air. I can also assure you, as one among the fortunate few who have heard the album, that although the wait will be long, your patience will be richly rewarded.
All of Panopticon’s albums beginning with 2012’s Kentucky can be thought of as remembrances of time and place, functioning both as outlets for Austin Lunn’s creative impulses and also as records, or snap-shots, of particular experiences and the physical environments where they occurred. They have been inspired to a significant degree by the beauty of nature, and, as carefully constructed and richly layered as they are, you also get the sense when you hear them that they have been written and recorded with great passion.
In these ways, Autumn Eternal is like the last two albums that preceded it. It’s bursting with emotional intensity (it may be the most intense Panopticon album so far). It’s filled with powerful, sweeping melodies. It’s multi-layered, atmospheric, immersive, and memorable. But because Panopticon’s albums are such personal works, because they are snapshots of time and place in the life of their creator, there are also differences in the music as compared to those last two albums. People change, and Panopticon’s music continues to change as well.
About an hour ago, one of our favorite bands made an announcement that we’ve been waiting for: On October 16, 2015, Panopticon’s new album Autumn Eternal will be released on CD by Bindrune Recordings in the U.S. and by Nordvis in Europe, with a gatefold LP version to follow. In addition, the band revealed the cover art (above) and debuted a 13-minute teaser of excerpts from the new album.
We will have a full review of Autumn Eternal to share with you on Monday morning. For now, I’ll say only that Austin Lunn has created another masterpiece. Listen to the teaser next…