"In the autumn of 1990, my parents took me to the record store to buy a new cassette tape as a reward for doing well in school," Austin Lunn, the man behind Panopticon states. "The tape they bought me was King’s X’s new (at the time) album, Faith Hope Love. The record blew my mind and lit a fire for progressive, emotional, and atmospheric music that would last the rest of my life, although taking many different forms as I grew and changed as a person. I bought the rest of their records that year and listened to them constantly throughout my childhood and do to this day."
Lunn is best known for his Appalachian folk-tinged black metal and recent forays into Americana and outlaw country. Yet, his new cover of King's X's "Pleiades" shows him tapping into a different well of inspiration that many fans may haven't seen before.
Lunn continues about the inspiration saying, "My folks always nourished my love of music and encouraged me to play. They took me to see King's X in 1992 and again in 1994. To this day, those two performances are among the best I can remember. Sure, My music taste has changed a lot in the past 30 years since that day at Cat's Music Store in Memphis, TN, but King’s X's music still reminds me of the joy of my family, my love of music, and memories of my parents—even though my old man has since passed away."
Lunn's cover is part of a recent compilation to raise money for Markov Soroka and his family. Soroka is also a solo musician who is behind projects such as Tchornobog, Aureole, Krukh, and more. Soroka's father recently suffered a heart attack and, as a response, members of the underground metal community came together to contribute new, original, or reimagined tracks to raise money for the medical bills.
The new take on "Pleiades" gives the King's X features a very distinct Panopticon feel—something akin to his more recent records–while maintaining much of that progressive flair that comes with King's X's original iteration. It's everything a cover should be. Lunn spins the track to be something that could fit anywhere on a Panopticon record. In fact, parts of this were written during his Autumn Eternal sessions, mainly the drums and some guitars. The 12-string bass, other guitar layers, pedal steel, and vocals were performed this year and mixed by Lunn and Charlie Anderson and mastered by Spenser Morris.
He concludes his statement to Metal Injection about King's X and the compilation saying, "Their first five records are dear to my heart and will always be. It was an honor to be able to contribute a track to this compilation to help another family as they rebuild their lives and I find this song to be appropriate for the release considering its connection to my own family."
Listen to Panopticon's cover of "Pleiades" now and pre-order a copy of Vigor Reconstruct: A Benefit for the Soroka Family on Bandcamp.