Panopticon will release their new album The Rime Of Memory on November 29, and you can check out the gargantuan closer "The Blue Against The White" right now. Once again, Panopticon mastermind Austin Lunn has demonstrated his incredible ability to write only top-tier American black metal that'll keep you engaged the entire time. Dude is incredible.
"In honor of the first snow accumulation of the year in my corner of Northern Minnesota, I went ahead and released 'The Blue against the White' featuring beautiful guest vocals by Johan from Efterbild and Höstblod," wrote Panopticon mastermind Austin Lunn.
Lunn also offered the following lengthy explanation of the album, its title, and its overall concept.
"It is such an ugly thought that we all will taste death. Many of us do our best to kind of push it to the back of our minds, so we can go about our daily lives, but just before sleep, it runs its fingers down your spine, resting warmly at your hip as you embark upon a dream, just to be startled with the reminder of your own impermanence.
"Life is short… and gathers speed as it falls… slowly rolling down hill until making its plunge into the abyss, only to abruptly end at its highest speed… the days flying by like minutes, with each wrinkle in our increasingly fragile hands until we simply stop breathing… .for what ever reason.
"So we make occasions of mile stones… erecting them to acknowledge the ages we pass through. Every traveler stops to pay their respects and be reminded by those who long ago visited those mile stones… 16… 18… 20… 21… 25… 30… .35… 40… 50… and so on… each milestone further apart than the last, each one less attended… less flowers at the foot of the stone crumbling into oblivion… and then the milestone is a grave… weeds growing around it, seldom seen and then forgotten…
"Along the way we grapple with it as best we can… desperately holding on to our youth (some of us)… engaging in outlandish behavior to attempt to rediscover our passion for life, or revitalize our youth… but it's pointless… you are what you are. And with each day you become more and more that.
"It is the natural cycle of life. Be born, grow, die, be born, grow, die. Our planet has such cycles as well. But along the way, our desperate attempts to halt our own cycles got in the way of the planet's cycles. So desperate to evade our inevitabilities… we will harness and destroy the very life force we thrive from to just have one more day of youth and ease… we will desecrate the sacred cathedrals of the wilderness, the havens of all life just so that we can have a simpler existence, with more abundant resources for a privileged few…
"…And then it comes. The well dries up. The forests burn. The smoke filled air choking our lungs… the dust billowing around our homes, our bellies crying out from food scarcity, dry eyes and parched throats seeking shelter from ever violent weather, cowering in the ruins of our landscapes, between walls, huddling in fear of collapse… we look in the mirror and we see: We look old. It all served us nothing. There is no escape from death and grief and loss… So why did we do this? I guess we just couldn't come to terms with the end… so we encouraged it.
"This album has 2 meanings. You can see this album solely as a rant about the climate crisis and wilderness advocacy. Or you can see this album as a coming to terms with the aging process… Or, as I do, you can see it allergoricaly about both.
"I wrote this album in my years of 37 to 40. It's strange to remember my parents at my age and think about how different it feels… raising my own children… having my own career… my own priorities… my own struggles. They did too. Passing by their mile stones, we begin to humanize them… they stop being the distant untouchable monoliths, towering over us… and we begin to see the cracks in them… just as we begin to crack, ourselves. Every time I go home, I drink a beer or two at my old man's grave. His final mile stone… One day, my boys just may drink a beer at mine.
"Each day is sacred as we slowly march towards the end. Don't forget to enjoy the beauty you see, smell, taste and feel along the way. It won't last forever… so enjoy it, cherish it… protect it."