As you can see, I decided to really load up today’s installment of the list, with four songs instead of two or three, and I also decided to lean into black metal for this one. I also thought these songs fit together in a way that would make for a good playlist, in addition to each of them being deserving presences on this list. As a bonus, two of these songs were performed at the Fire In the Mountains festival last summer outside Jackson, Wyoming, and I’ve included quality video of both of those, thanks to (((unartig))), as well as the album tracks.
Without advance fanfare, or any preceding reviews, last April Panopticon released the extraordinary double-album The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness (I and II), one half devoted to atmospheric metal and the other half focused on Americana (though the division isn’t a rigid one, with some bleed-over going both ways). Austin Lunn shared the album with me in advance of its release, and I wrote a review, holding onto it (at his request) until the release date — and then I never posted it.
I felt that I owed the music something better than the words I’d cobbled together, which struck me as more emotional and stream-of-conscious in their ramblings than they should have been. And then, with the music out in the world, I just never got back to the drawing board in the hope of crafting a better homage.