Reviews Panopticon …On The Subject Of Mortality…

Panopticon

…On The Subject Of Mortality…


Many people (I was going to say all but did not want to over generalize) seem to have certain touchstones with regards to certain styles of music, and in one short year, Panopticon has become one of those “bands” (in quotes because this is really a one man project) for me; …On The Subject Of Mortality… is the record that ensnared my attention and really highlighted what Panopticon was cable of musically and thematically (a major draw to the album for me); this album was originally spread out over two split releases but was eventually (thankfully) compiled into the record that it was meant to be.

Though obviously black metal, Panopticon incorporates a wide variety of methods to enhance the music that is rather shocking when certain sounds and tones hit my ears from the type of melodies one might hear from say Explosions In The Sky (evident in the beginning of “In The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death”, in sections of “To Make An Idol Of Our Fears And Call It God”, and in spots of “Watching You”) to the soft piano parts and almost ambient sections that are peppered throughout …On The Subject Of Mortality…, but the frantic drumming still grabs my attention when he just goes off (like in parts of “Living Eulogy”) where the rolls just kind of force you to pay attention (though I do wish they had a much more ballsy sound). The command of musical dynamics intensifies many of the best moments on …On The Subject Of Mortality… (as on my favorite song on the record of “To Make An Idol Of Our Fears And Call It God”, love the sample use on the track as well), and the vocal sounds add a great deal to the record as they vary a great deal and fit the moods.

Listening to …On The Subject Of Mortality… while writing this, I feel a weird melancholy closing in on my mind as well as a very real catharsis; and this mood or feeling seems to mirror or parallel that of Panopticon when writing this record, particularly if you take the time to read the liner notes from the author / composer. A topically heavy record, …On The Subject Of Mortality… is a hell of a record that seemingly challenges listeners from a philosophical standpoint while delivering these themes via some great music that hits listeners with a plethora of sounds that can be mood affecting, and, ultimately, it is these effects that draw me back to the record again and again.

8.5 / 10Bob
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Flenser

2011

8.5 / 10

8.5 / 10

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