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Feed Them Death - Panopticism: Belong/Be Lost [I, Voidhanger - 2020]

The second release from Feed Them Death, Panopticism: Belong/Be Lost has Void (Antropofagus) once again handling all the instruments, vocals, and production. Inspired by writings of philospher/social theorist Michel Foucault, the concept at the core of Panopticism expounds upon exclusion of outcasts and their subsequent exploitation by the "normal" masses. With eleven tracks filling 36 minutes, Panopticism is a perfectly digestible length.

While many concept albums blather on and overstay their welcomes, Panopticism keeps it short and sweet, delivering a better, more concise message. This message is delivered through frenzied metal, punctuated with slower, heavy breakdowns. Void's approach is one of speed and ferocity mixed with intriguing breaks and experimental overtones (I think there's even a theremin in there). One man projects are interesting for a few reasons. One is that it's always impressive to hear someone's talent spread over a number of different instruments and not only for playing ability, but for composition. The latter bit is another point of interest in that there is no alternative input into the creative process. One one hand, it limits the overall creative capacity, but it allows more of Void's ideas to be fleshed out and given room to grow. This makes Panopticism hard to pigeon-hole into a genre, and that is a good thing. While mostly settled in the death metal realm, the album shifts in a few different directions as each song progresses and this mixture is really beneficial to the album as a whole What could be considered an out of place riff is really there to set the stage for another change in elements to step forth. A quick and fulfilling album to be enjoyed as a whole, Panopticism is a project of love, and it shows.

Feed Them Death may only be two albums strong, but their sophomore effort shows all the promise and compositional ability of a band five or six albums in. Sure, Void was in other bands before, but covering all instruments and duties is a different kettle of fish. Handled supremely well, Panopticism shows the power of art and how different media can influence progression.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Paul Casey
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