Portal

Outré

by Adrien Begrand

25 October 2007

 

Death metal always pretends to be scary, but for all the gore-obsessed lyrics, violent imagery, and crushing riffing and blastbeats, for all the cacophony, it’s all rather harmless. That said, however, I make no mistake in saying that the death metal peddled by Australia’s Portal is truly friggin’ terrifying. Visually, they’ve got it down, as band members don suits and executioners’ masks save for vocalist The Curator, who wears a huge, tattered wizard’s hat that obscures his face. Lyrically, the aforementioned Curator spews random cut-up images in the vein of William Burroughs, delivered in a howl as dry as the Outback. The music itself is the final iron nail in the dusty, wooden coffin, it’s production unrelentingly stifling. Not unlike black metal, it’s more preoccupied with atmosphere and less with technical proficiency, the songs constantly projecting a supremely creepy vibe, from the awkward cadence of the percussion, to the haunting thrum of bass (or as the liner notes put it, the “Writhing Undertow of Omnitidings & Rift”), to the lo-fi churning of guitars (wait, is that a melody in “13 Globes”?). So convincing all this is, we half expect to see this band in only sepia tones when we see them in person. If we’re ever brave enough, that is. Beautifully packaged by the always reliable Profound Lore label, the astonishing Outré is not only a highly disturbing slice of extreme music, but also an essential one.

Move the hell over, Corpsegrinder. This is real horror.

cover art

Portal

Outré

(Profound Lore)
US: 25 Sep 2007
UK: Available as import

Outré

Rating:

Topics: portal
 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.

 

//comments
//related
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Saul Williams Commands Attention at Summerstage (Photos + Video)

// Notes from the Road

"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.

READ the article