The Austin Chronicle

Progressive Black Metallurgists Panopticon Cast Dark Folk Into the Mix

Austin Lunn and his Blaze Foley tattoo come to Austin Terror Fest

By Michael Toland, June 7, 2019, Music

In the last dozen years, Kentucky extreme metal brand Panopticon has earned a formidable reputation with both metal devotees and mainstreamers like NPR. Last year's The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness, one disc convulsing progressive black metal and the other excreting dark folk rock, is the band's masterpiece.

"Many of those songs have been worked on for several years, so it was a bit intimidating finally committing them to wax," explains prime mover Austin Lunn by email. "Also, at the time of the mixing, my youngest son, Rune, had a major heart surgery and we were in the hospital with him for a month and a half. So while he would sleep at night, I would stay awake to watch over him and review mixes with my headphones on.

"It was a pretty grueling time, and the album will always be associated with that in my mind."

The LP takes that emotional energy, and channels it into a pro-nature manifesto.

"I am one of those people who sees the personal as political, and generally all music is an expression of the human experience in one way or another," opines Lunn.

That adherence to honest self-expression inspired the Texas singer-songwriter fan to conceive a solo set of Blaze Foley tunes for this year's Terror Fest.

"Blaze's story and his lyrical approach and personality really resonates with me," writes Lunn. "Years ago, I got a tattoo of Blaze on the back of my arm, just as a reminder to keep coming from the heart – to not waste my life, to live my music, and have my music reflect my life."


Barracuda, Sat. 8, 5:30pm; Empire Garage, Sun. 9, 11pm

Complete Q&A with Austin Lunn at

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