Portal
Vexovoid


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (197 Reviews)
February 14th, 2013 | 195 replies


Release Date: 02/19/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This Australian black/death metal hybrid has built up steam, showing their ultimate culmination thus far in Vexovoid with yet another strong release.

Hailing from the sunny city of Brisbane, Australia it’s hard to imagine the severe depth of anguish and sinister nature that Portal present in the form of full-lengths. The music for the most part sits squarely on a foundation of blast peats, gravely riffs a murky unrefined production sound that not only gives life to this sinister sounding metal band but also creates a certain atmosphere throughout their records, music that you would expect to come from a barren icy wasteland. That’s not to say that this music is a carbon copy of every other act that happens to share those attributes, instead Portal have more-or-less developed a soundscape that is largely theirs.

It’s been almost four years since their last studio effort Swarth and really not a lot has changed in terms of their sound. This mostly masked heavy metal group (The Curator wears a tattered wizards hat that obscures peoples vision) uses lyrical themes of ‘Lovecrafth Mythos’ and ‘Cthulhu’ as well as a few others building on the mystic that the band persona already posesses. For the most part the same principals apply more than ever. Keep in mind Portal are not the only band willing to stretch these two genres of metal together; with the likes of Impetuous Ritual (also from Aust.) and Mitochondrion whose Parasignosis was received with praise by the metal masses alongside countless others willing to throw their hat in the ring. What Portal does have though in comparison to most other groups is experience; Vexovoid is the band’s fourth full length and with this experience behind them they have built a record that is enjoyable as it is bleak, sinister and at complete contrast to the crystal clear beaches found in their home state.

To pigeon-hole Portal as doing the same thing over-and-over again would be more than a little wrong and lazy. Over the years the band has simply developed their sound, a refinement of ideas building on experience and creating semi-blackened death metal masterpieces. Vexovoid, so far is the culmination of their past efforts. The atmosphere comes stronger than ever, almost suffocating in nature (see ‘Curtain’ and ‘Plasm’) combining this already mentioned murky atmosphere with the likes of simple note picking as well as the usual array of tremolo riffs, before reaching the usual onslaught of blast beats and those well executed raspy vocal lines from The Curator. At a rather brief thirty-four minutes Vexovoid is over pretty quickly and the clear notes of ‘Oblotten’ soon fade into the distance. It’s a shame the record is so short in its duration as the music could definitely withstand the pressure of another couple of tracks. From the pummelling introductory track ‘Kilter’ which slams into the listener at full speed to the haunting ‘Plasm’ that holds a consistent display of the band’s song-writing talent, baring its teeth in the face of destruction and a highlight of The Curator’s vocal ability; it’s clear that Portal means business with their 2013 release, Vexovoid and are here to stay.

Overall, Portal has released a record that anyone familiar with their music would expect. Vexovoid is furious, bleak, sinister, dark and ultimately unfriendly. But this doesn’t mean the music is inaccessible. Yes, the production process wasn’t exactly a ‘million dollar’ one but neither was this recorded in a tin can. Every aspect comes to the for-front of the music combining into one solid unit, building on the atmosphere the production helped to make. Despite the records brevity, Vexovoid is a captivating listen; there is little out of the ordinary well, as far as Portal goes (high pitched steel scraping in ‘Oblotten’ could be considered a usual creepy effect), but for what it’s worth this Australian five-piece know what they are doing and why it works, ensuring that each component of the music works well with the next. Vexovoid may not have the same sizable impact that the debut Seepia did, in fact the band is exactly where they are supposed to be; four releases in, building off the soundscape that they developed and ultimately presenting an album that brings together their experiences. The effect of the record is really only limited by its short play time and the somewhat astounding ability of Portal themselves.



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user ratings (126)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2013


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Curtain:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYasU0JDu4c

Kilter:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGhpH7fr0kQ

The Black Wards:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4D4SmCsR84

FrozenVain
February 14th 2013


2432 Comments


I've heard quite a bit of good stuff about this one. Portal is a wicked band so I will definitely listen to this in time.

"Overall, Portal has released a record that anyone familiar with their music would expect. Vexovoid is furious, bleak, sinister, dark and ultimately unfriendly."

Now that is what I wanna hear! Great review, pos'd!

BallsToTheWall
February 14th 2013


44388 Comments


I love blast peats.

Digging: Carissa's Wierd - Songs About Leaving

CaptainDooRight
February 14th 2013


29137 Comments


whoa!!!

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

CaptainDooRight
February 14th 2013


29137 Comments


artwork lookz like alien brain

CaptainDooRight
February 14th 2013


29137 Comments


I like black wards best out of three links

Pos'd

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2013


16395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Has this been released/streamed yet?

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

AdolfChrist
February 14th 2013


1763 Comments


listening to this after the new suffocation, then just gotta wait for Krypts to leak. good month for death metal.

ShadowRemains
February 14th 2013


20743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great album

Digging: Banks - Goddess

FearThyEvil
February 14th 2013


12547 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The person who gave this a 1.5 is a piece of shit.

ShadowRemains
February 14th 2013


20743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

well they gave infest by papa roach and issues by korn a 4.5 so what does that tell you

PortalofPerfection
February 14th 2013


496 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hey issues was awesome. Papa roach well...

Anyway, fantastic review here, just listened to Swarth for the first time very recently, it beats my
brains in. Really looking forward to this.

Damn just realized this is ipod, nice one again bro.

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

PortalofPerfection
February 14th 2013


496 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"I love blast peats"

http://24.media.tumblr.com/6e704f7155295ac08de368393112b8ff/tumblr_meo3piHeMN1r9i2rxo1_500.jpg


FearThyEvil
February 14th 2013


12547 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well they gave infest by papa roach and issues by korn a 4.5 so what does that tell you

Piece of shit/troll

PortalofPerfection
February 14th 2013


496 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^^^That's not fair though, sometimes people just feel really strongly about an album that affected
their lives significantly, even if they later realize it's not very good.

Don't get me wrong though, giving this a 1.5 doesn't necessarily mean he's a pos/troll but it does
mean he's an impatient wuss.

MichaelSnoxall
February 14th 2013


12163 Comments


The person who gave this a 1.5 is a piece of shit.

lol stop acting so serious, you might hurt yourself.


Anyways, decent review, not your best, but I'll pos.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2013


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Has this been released/streamed yet?


Shhh...

good month for death metal.


Black metal's not far behind either.

Damn just realized this is ipod, nice one again bro.


Thanks duder.

decent review, not your best, but I'll pos


Thanks i think, or has Insurrection put you in an excellent mood the last couple of days?








chambered99
February 14th 2013


802 Comments


awww shiiiiit

mindleviticus
February 14th 2013


8231 Comments


Gonna listen to this tomorrow hopefully. I've only heard Outre and loved it.

Digging: Cultes Des Ghoules - Henbane

MichaelSnoxall
February 14th 2013


12163 Comments


Thanks i think, or has Insurrection put you in an excellent mood the last couple of days?

Ins is just a wanker. But compared to his reviews, this is a masterpiece.



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