Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2022
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Panopticon > La passione de Sacco & Vanzetti > Reviews > NausikaDalazBlindaz
Panopticon - La passione de Sacco & Vanzetti

Sympathy for the common working people of America - 70%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, July 15th, 2014

If ever there was a Panopticon track that epitomises this USBM band's anarchist philosophy with its sympathy for the ordinary working men and women of America, this single inspired by the tragic case of Italian-American anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeu Vanzetti is it. These two men were arrested and convicted in a controversial 1921 trial in Massachusetts for supposedly murdering two men during a robbery in 1920 in spite of conflicting evidence; the anarchists were executed in 1927. Since then the men's case has been analysed by historians, academics and others as an example of a prejudicial trial biased against the men due to their anarchist beliefs and associations and their being Italian immigrants, and as a case where people's political freedoms granted by the US Constitution were trampled upon by legal and judicial authorities.

Bookended by recordings of spoken dialogue, the second of which is possibly by Vanzetti himself, the song is hard-hitting and aggressive. With a choppy rhythm, crunchy and crushing riffs and stuttery percussion, the opening section of the song is hard to wrap your head around and the sheer confrontational approach knocks you sideways. The song settles into a fast screed of long drawn-out high-pitched guitar tone, more frantic blast-beat drumming and angry gravelly vocals. About halfway through the track there is a spoken-word recording about state oppression. The song continues its rush with very little pause though the pace slows considerably past the 8th minute and the music becomes more sweeping. Some serious lead guitar shredding comes late as the vocals become more desperate in tone, as though heralding that final moment in the anarchists' lives when they were strapped into the electric chair.

A great deal of panic and fear is engendered in the music but perhaps the best part comes with Vanzetti's speech about how he and Sacco will be remembered through their ordeal and wrongful deaths to the accompaniment of tender acoustic guitar melody. The music tries to express something of the two men's suffering and uncertainty about their fate through the trial, the imprisonment, being on death-row, and their inner turmoil at the knowledge that all appeals for their release have been turned down. I don't think the song succeeds all that well in capturing what the men must have felt but that Panopticon man A Lunn did try is to be credited.

I think while the idea of writing something to remember what Sacco and Vanzetti died for has merit, the way it's been realised is limited and listeners have no more idea at the end how much the two men suffered than they did at the beginning. Expanding the song to a concept album or even just an EP of about 4 - 5 songs might have done the subject better justice.