Apr 042018


We almost never just post stand-alone news announcements, but we’re making an exception here — and to cut to the chase, Panopticon has now released its eagerly awaited new album, The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness (I and II).

Austin Lunn shared the album with a few select friends, but requested no reviews before the release of the album. And so you won’t see one in this post, but you will see one tomorrow, simply because the album inspires too many thoughts and reactions that might cause me some kind of internal damage if I don’t get them off my chest and out of my mind.

For now, I just want to share the stream and links to the places where the album can be downloaded and ordered in physical editions (my own vinyl order should be arriving any day). But first, here is a statement from Austin Lunn that appears on the Bandcamp page where it can be downloaded: Continue reading »

Jan 082018


(Our friend Austin Lunn had a busy 2017, and one of the reasons is likely the recently revealed fact that Panopticon has a new double-album coming our way in March via Bindrune Recordings in the U.S. and Nordvis in Europe, the title of which is the scars of man on the once nameless wilderness. Nevertheless, Austin again graciously agreed to put together a year-end list of favorite records that we could share with you.)


I’m sorry I am a bit behind with this list as my life has been a bit chaotic as of late.

There was so much music to consume in 2017… Here is a list of some of the records I enjoyed in 2017…some are from 2016 and I was just a little late to discover them. I had quite a few more but I just felt as if my list was getting a bit excessive. This list spans a lot of genres and is in no particular order… But I will say that the first 5 on my list were my favorites this year. Continue reading »

Jan 062018


I had a very busy week, both on and off our site, so busy that I wasn’t able to cobble together a round-up of news and new music. However, I did try to keep abreast of what was coming out, and my list of intriguing tracks that appeared over just the last week is YUGE — so YUGE that I’m afraid I’ll have to resort to an OVERFLOWING STREAMS post on Monday, one in which I don’t do anything but just stitch together new music streams and release details without commentary.

But I decided I would do something for today as a head-start (in addition to working on a SHADES OF BLACK post for tomorrow), and here’s what I’ve done: I picked the latest recommendations from three of my NCS colleagues, and then added one of my own, which happens to be the latest new song premiere that I’ve listened to. But first, a news item…


A few days ago the administrator of Panopticon’s official Facebook page posted the artwork you see above, along with these few words: “Slip case cover for the new double album. the scars of man on the once nameless wilderness. Out in March on Bindrune Recordings in the USA and Nordvis in Europe. Art by Hanna Larsson of Sólfjall Design.” Continue reading »

Jan 072017


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. Continue reading »

Dec 132016



(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: Continue reading »

Aug 232016

Panopticon at Migration Fest-1


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: Continue reading »

Aug 142016

Capitol Theater-Day Two


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. Continue reading »

Dec 292015

Mgla-Exercises In Futility


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: Continue reading »

Dec 142015

Austin Lunn


(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.

Best wishes,
Austin Continue reading »

Oct 162015

Panopticon-Autumn Eternal
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. Continue reading »