I’m a bit of a fanboy when it comes to the bands on Bindrune Records, particularly Panopticon so if the write up comes off as gushing, I don’t apologize.

The last split Panopticon was on was with Falls of Rauros and it was a masterwork of bands coming together in perfect harmony. If I were to pick another band from Bindrune to be on a split with Panopticon, it would be Waldgeflüster. Their European flavored, folk black metal is the perfect compliment to Panopticon’s dreamy, melodic, bluegrass, American folk infused metal, and vice versa. Both bands contribute one new song apiece and both are phenomenal. Waldgeflüster’s “Der Traumschänder” is an epic, melody-laden, atmospheric triumph with an absolutely gorgeous folk interlude. The band is firing on all cylinders and this is a prime example of what makes this band so captivating.

Panopticon’s original, “Håkan’s Song” is also full of all the elements that make Panopticon so unique and amazing. It retains the melodic and transcendent qualities of his current output but seems to hearken back a bit to his rawer sound. It’s a phenomenal track as Panopticon’s Austin Lunn is on top of his game and continues to put out the best music around. No fucking joke.

Where the split really crushed me was the cover songs. Each band chose one song from each other and they both just fucking nailed them. Waldgeflüster chose Panopticon’s “Norwegian Nights” from the album Roads to the North, my current favorite album and one of my favorite songs from said album. They damn near make the song their own, adding a darker, epic feel to the song that I kind of feel suits the subject matter. It’s breathtaking.

Panopticon chose  Waldgeflüster’s “Trauerweide II” from their killer album Meine Fesseln. This one, Panopticon owns. He brings the banjo and bluegrass into what was a moody, European folk metal song and completely transforms it into a new entity. Amazing.

I can’t get enough of these two bands and for them to collaborate on this split together is one of the best things that is likely to happen this year. Put this in your ears immediately.

The Panopticon/Waldgeflüster split album is available now from Nordvis Produktion.

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