Portal (Cynic)
Demo 1995


4.5
superb

Review

by KILL USER (57 Reviews)
October 26th, 2010 | 81 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An extremely solid demo release from this short lived project.

In 1993 Cynic released their debut LP Focus which became a landmark of innovation and technicality. Following a long tour the band started working on their second LP. It was during this time that the band went their separate ways. Soon after, ex Cynic members Paul Masvidal, Sean Reinert and Jason Gobel created a new project named Portal. They then brought in Chris Kringel and Aruna Abrams. A year later and the band recorded this 10 track demo.

Portals sound is vastly different than Cynic, yet familiar in some ways. Gone are the robot vocals and death growls which have been replaced with mellow female vocals courtesy of Aruna and clean vocals from Paul. The music itself is in the vein of the lighter Cynic songs such as Textures and Sentiment but strongly progressing on that sound and making it their own which works extremely well.

Vocally the album is split up between Paul and Aruna. Aruna has very melodious and soothing vocals while Paul uses a more monotonous approach. Most of the time Aruna takes lead vocals and Paul does the backing and this works well in songs such as Circle. Paul also has his solo moments too, usually consisting of small sections of songs. Aruna's vocals are what makes the album such an easy listen and are very enticing to listen to and Paul only adds to the experience. The lyrics are much more straightforward and understandable than Focus's, but they still maintain the spiritual nature.

Drummer Sean Reinert is known for his highly technical and influential drumming on albums such as Death's Human and Cynic's Focus. On this album however his playing is much more accessible and composed, but that's not to say he isn't as imaginative as he was on those albums. The song Endless Endeavors is a good example of his creativity and technical prowess.

One of the demo's finest is the fret-less bass player Chris Kringel. Chris is a brilliant bass player who shows not only his ability but also his creativity. The song Cosmos showcases his playing well. Chris rarely sticks to a single note, he is consistently walking the fretboard and it really adds to the overall sound of the album. The bass is very prominent on this demo, as the guitar is generally playing soft straightforward chords during verses and chorus's, but that's not to say Paul's playing doesn't shine on here.

Guitarists Paul Masvidal and Jason Gobel take a step back on this demo in terms of technicality. There are still the jazz fusion-esque chords and and chord changes but there are no more super-high tempo leads over verses and chorus's. The solos however are still immensely intricate and help mix the sound of the album up. The solo in Cosmos, played by Paul is a great example of this.

Putting Portal into a category of sound is hard but the best way it can be described is progressive jazz-fusion, but it can also be interpreted differently as it has hints of atmosphere and metal at times, it's very unique. Portal was a truly wonderful project which sadly ended without a full release, but this demo is not to far off from what we would have gotten. The production is top notch and there are 10 full tracks. This demo should appeal to fans of Cynic and even Aeon Spoke. Fans of either band and fans of the progressive genre in general should definitely take a look at this small project as it is an overlooked creative gem.



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user ratings (42)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mordecai.
October 26th 2010


8279 Comments


this is good. far better than aeon spoke

Mordecai.
October 26th 2010


8279 Comments


yeh good review too

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 26th 2010


16440 Comments


oh hey a kill review how about that

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

KILL
October 26th 2010


71965 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

thanks dudes did you guys catch any mistakes? i would sonic but damn thats a lot of albums, i may review signals as i actually love that album so much its close to a 5 for me

Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out

vanderb0b
October 26th 2010


3473 Comments


Deaths Human and Cynics Focus

Should be Death's and Cynic's.

Aside from that, nice review. Never heard of this album, will check it out as Cynic is awesome.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 26th 2010


16440 Comments


Yeah the review is pretty good, kind of blocky in terms of flow but it gets the point across.

KILL
October 26th 2010


71965 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yea man i suck at flow hope i get good one day you know, thanks vander

porch
October 26th 2010


8459 Comments


cool to see you reviewing and it's a good one too

The music itself is in vain of the lighter Cynic songs


should be is in "the" vein of

porch
October 26th 2010


8459 Comments


13.5% sure

KILL
October 26th 2010


71965 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

hey guys which one is it i got an F in english

KILL
October 26th 2010


71965 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

goes to show

KILL
October 26th 2010


71965 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

in my spare time yea but cbf to do the long ones everyone does

KILL
October 26th 2010


71965 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

maybe when i get better, also i wana review albums without reviews too

pizzamachine
October 26th 2010


12571 Comments


Soundoffs?

ShadowRemains
October 26th 2010


21064 Comments


a kill review...awesome

good review, pos'd

Digging: Execration (NOR) - Morbid Dimensions

Mordecai.
October 26th 2010


8279 Comments


lighter Cynic songs such as Textures and Sentimentbut strongly


put a space between 'sentiment' and 'but'.

KILL
October 26th 2010


71965 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

thanks shadows and mordecai

what you mean pizza?

Jethro42
October 26th 2010


12484 Comments


Sounds interesting. I've seen like 5 different bands named 'Portal' on RYM.
Bizarre. This one is not bad:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgPBXwytVa4
edit: pos'd, keep it up man.

KILL
October 26th 2010


71965 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

hmm not really my cup of tea but cool, check this out you'll love it and thanks man

Relinquished
October 26th 2010


25214 Comments


omg a KILL review so rare these days



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