RR10 Vestiges / Panopticon Split
Formed in Washington DC in 2010, Vestiges set out to incorporate elements of hardcore, black metal, crust, d-beat, screamo, and post-rock to articulate their message both musically and lyrically through a series of albums that follow a central narrative about the relationship between man and nature. The band questions man's evolution as progress while cryptically referencing a broad spectrum of sociopolitical issues including industrialization, militarization, overpopulation, theism, and both human and animal rights.
Formed in 2007 in Kentucky, Panopticon is a one-man band from Louisville that seamlessly combines elements of black metal, bluegrass, and folk using a myriad of wind, string, and key instruments. The band's unique brand of atmospheric black metal is steeped in history, mythology, and a well-educated philosophy of anarchism in support of a small, yet strong community.
On May 24, 2013, Vestiges released VII and VIII, the next chapters of their narrative, on a split with Panopticon through Replenish Records. 100% of the proceeds from the digital downloads of the album will be donated to Compassion Over Killing at http://www.cok.net in order to help promote a plant-based diet and expose the routine abuses forced upon animals raised for food through undercover investigations inside factory farms and legal advocacy.
"As far as splits go, this is up there with the best of them. Generally these releases don't get much recognition beyond hardcore fan worship but they're just as enjoyable as individual full lengths. This is a golden age for these bands and indeed for black metal as a whole. This split is no different" We Must Obey
"Two of the most interesting and musically original U.S. extreme metal bands now going, Vestiges and Panopticon, have teamed up for a split release. If you know anything about these bands, then chances are your expectations will be high, and you won't be disappointed. If I had the patience and mental clarity to make a list of the year's best records, I have no doubt this Vestiges-Panopticon split would be on it. Here, both bands use the visceral, cathartic power of metal as a carrier of divergent musical ideas and emotions. It's a 38-minute collection of vibrant, moving, creative music that's well off the beaten path but damn well deserves to be on everyone's radar screen." No Clean Singing
"Vestiges and Panopticon aren't new names in extreme music. Both bands are incredibly well-known for their effortless ability to bend genres and weave together songs that are both unnaturally powerful and aesthetically pleasing. For that reason alone, I believe this split to be an attractive one for various kinds of extreme music fans as it allows both musical accessibility via the incorporation of many genres and the proliferation of new, underused, or overlooked ideas to seep into the ears of listeners. In many ways this split should be noted as one of the best exemplifications of where extreme music is, but also where it can go in the future. While many genre purists will shy away from genre-bending and flock to something that is "true" it should not be noted, but declared that bands such as Panopticon and Vestiges are bringing something new and ripe to the table. The exploration of genres and creativity in an otherwise contained and masturbatory music genre should be lauded, rather than shoved aside." CVLT Nation
"A new split LP from two of the best bands in extreme music today - Washington D.C.'s Vestiges and Kentucky's one-man band Panopticon. Two tracks from Vestiges, and three from Panopticon, all of which represent some of each band's strongest output to date. Tracks "VII" and "VIII" are the latest in Vestiges ongoing narrative centered around the relationship between man and nature. These tracks are definitely the darkest and strongest in their already powerful discography. Absolutely mind-blowing. The Panopticon tracks are also very impressive, and are some of the most beautiful and captivating material that Austin has released. "A Letter" and "The Eulogy" sound heavily influenced by post-rock, and have a similar vibe to the songs on the recent split with Wheels Within Wheels. Soaked in atmosphere, melancholy, and decidedly poignant. The third Panopticon track is a very dark and emotional cover of Suicide Nation - the punk/metal band from Tempe, Arizona that broke up in the early 2000's - called "Collapse and Die." If you're familiar with the original, you'll know that this is really terrific; it pays homage to the original while bringing its own fury and meaning." Hammer Smashed Sound
"It's weird to imagine a time when beautiful atmosphere and longing ambiance were thought to be the antithesis of extreme metal. Nowadays, the two aesthetics have long been mastered as complimentary. The post-whatever school of thought being the zeitgeist of the moment, it's no wonder how black metal has become so affected. Strange, considering that it's a genre seemingly built on an elitist exclusionary mindset, if stereotypes are to be trusted. Two bands cutting against this grain and bringing black metal out of bleak traditionalism and into oddly bright furtherance are Vestiges and Panopticon, whose split EP is a vibrant testimony for the American atmospheric black metal movement. What we have here are two groups at the apex of a movement. Along with Deafheaven, Vestiges and Panopticon have crafted one of the most stand-out black metal releases this year. While the formula is tweaked and experimented with just enough to make purists uncomfortable, these two up-and-coming acts are making black metal just the right amount of accessible that can serve as a springboard for listeners to delve deeper into the genre. Following in the footsteps of the innovating Wolves In The Throne Room, these acts are making great strides for USBM in both style and substance." Heavy Blog Is Heavy
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