The Life and Possibilities of Panopticon

Angelina Valentine, Staff Writer

Panopticon is an atmospheric black metal one-man band that formed in 2007 and is still very active today. It originated in Louisville, Kentucky and was created by Austin Lunn an outdoorsman who managed to put out 15 Panopticon releases in the last eight years and incorporates “national, organic, and methodical, masterful in its writing, fiery and alive in its execution,” said Simon Handmaker.

Even though this sounds like the typical heavy metal band, with the rapid drumming and distorted guitars, Lunn also incorporates additional instrumentation, such as fiddles, acoustic guitars, synthesizers, and banjos. It may sound like a weird combination, but they mix together pretty well considering the whole concept is nature, which seems like it’s the same as every other atmospheric band because it has mostly instrumentals and talks about nature.

One of his best albums, in my opinion, is Autumn Eternal, which was created in 2015. This album is so good because not only did Lunn incorporate atmospheric black metal but he also incorporated genres such as prog rock, post-rock, and bluegrass into the album and possibly others, too. Although he has many albums, he only has 40-50 fans, but Lunn wants to change that by “doing things a little more raw and atmospheric next time—revisit some of my older explorations and make things a little less brutal, with more mid-paced black metal sounds rather than melodic death or dark metal influences.” Doing this and releasing a new album that includes all of Lunn’s new ideas may bring more fans and possibly a tour in the future.