Thursday, February 25, 2016

Panopticon/Waldgefluster – Split

There's a meme floating around social media that tells us, in effect, let people know how you feel about them. So when Racer sent this promo to me, I promptly let him know how much I love him, and that if we didn't live 800 miles apart I'd stand in his front yard and serenade him. Of course, he hasn't spoken to me since then, which leads me to think that maybe I pushed it a little too far. It is what it is.

The cause of all this sharing of feelings is the new split featuring Panopticon and Waldgefluster. I like splits that have well matched bands, and this one definitely works in that regard. These are two bands that deal in black metal, and more of the Cascadian, nature worshiping black metal at that.

Waldgefluster hail from Munich, Germany. They have two songs on the split. A new original titled “Der Traumschander” leads off their side. It's a longer track, clocking in at a bit over twelve minutes, and seems to flow through and touch on most of the things you would expect in a black metal song. There is raging music with blast beats, there are acoustic breakdowns, and some really nice melodic touches, which a lot of people miss about black metal. Their second track is actually a cover of a Panopticon song called “Norwegian Nights”. They manage to do a pretty faithful cover while putting their own spin on it, and it turns out very nicely.

Panopticon is in the fine tradition of the one man black metal band. Austin Lunn is the man behind the band, and his original track is just a beast. “Hakan's Song”also manages to cover a lot of territory stylistically, and goes from a full on black metal rager for about half of the almost thirteen minute running time, to an acoustic interlude that is some of the most beautiful music I've heard in a long time. The song finishes with full “band” continuing the melody and I have to say that this track just blew me away. The best individual song I have heard in years. This one song alone is worth the price of admission. And of course the favor is returned as the second song for Mr. Lunn is a Waldgefluster cover, “Trauerweide II”. Again, the track gets the Panopticon treatment with some interesting instrumentation, but it's true enough to the original that you know what it is.

Another killer release from the Bindrune Records collective, this one just has to be in your collection. Waldgefluster bring a top effort, and Panopticon have been straight killin' it over at least the last five releases in which they've been involved. This one of those can't miss albums and you need to hear it.


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