PANOPTICON — Kentucky (review)

PANOPTICON — Kentucky album cover Album · 2012 · Atmospheric Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Black Metal, in general, is a genre that does not work for me. Several times I tried to listen to the classic bands of the genre and never really liked anything. What is considered the nature of the genre (the precarious, amateur and coarse production) is for me a destruction of the ears.

I had no idea who Panopticon was, and I thought 'Kentucky' was one of those one-man-band thing that Black Metal has so much. When I was reading about the album I saw that people use the term 'Atmospheric Black Metal' for it (a pompous name that it means not so violent). However, 'Kentucky' is different! The production is not so bad and for Black Metal standards is even good. But not only that, Austin L. Lunn (the name behind the project) tried to merge Black Metal with ... Bluegrass ...

Okay, I admit, that caught my attention alone. But the truth is that 'Kentucky' does not mix both genres at all. I hoped Black Metal would be overrun by banjos and acoustic guitars, what we have instead are Bluegrass vignettes between the Black Metal tracks, which makes the album clumsy at times. There is not a fusion of the two genres, what we have, in fact, are two genres in the same album, we could even separate the album in Part 1 and part 2, who likes Black Metal hears one part, who likes Country another.

But in the end Kentucky surprised me, I (save rare exceptions) had never managed to make sense of Black Metal (still don't), and it's the first time a record of the genre has provoked a feeling that is not dislike. Actually 'Kentucky' is a good record. It suffers from the evil of the century, it is too long, it should have been shorter, no fillers, because Black Metal can be very tiring.

But it's worth a listen, even just out of curiosity.
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