This is one for the more adventurous Americana fans on this site!
Kentucky’s Panopticon are highly regarded for their melding of the state’s native bluegrass music with black metal. It’s not so daft as it sounds. There has long been a strain of black metal that has romanticised the natural beauty and folk music of the Scandinavian countries where it originated, so it makes sense for American practitioners to use their own traditional musics. Panopticon is a one man band – Austin Lunn plays every instrument, from the screeching tremolo assaults, soaring riffs and brutal blast beats of the more BM moments to the banjo picking, alternatively reflective and driving. The last but one album, Kentucky is themed around the lives of coal miners in the state, and has a solid pro-union message, with sampled reminiscences from former miners, and versions of the labour songs Which Side Are You On? and Come All Ye Coal Miners. It’s great stuff, and a million miles from the preconceptions of BM being all Nazis, corpsepaint and church burning. The linked video is this record – enjoy (and if you do, their latest album Roads To The North is very good indeed, and has the most gorgeous cover photo I’ve seen in a long time)