Vril
Portal


4.5
superb

Review

by TMobotron USER (27 Reviews)
February 2nd, 2015 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Powerful techno on and off the floor.

There's often a decidedly reigned-in approach taken on techno albums. Even the heaviest hitters can be willing to soften up their sound in an effort to create an album that's more dynamic and appealing as a complete package, rather than something that sounds too much like a collection of club tracks. It can easily be a recipe for success, but often it comes at the cost of the artist losing some of what appealed to their listeners in the first place. There are no ambient passages, mellow interludes, or softening of sounds to be found on Vril's Portal, and if there was ever an album to prove them unnecessary, this is it.

“Portal 1” is as close to “build-up” as anything here could be considered, with its slightly restrained drums chugging along under slowly swelling pads. From then on, it's earth-shaking, propulsive techno from wall to wall. Every track here is filled with alarming percussive force. Even the melodic elements play a percussive role, whether it's rhythmic chord stabs in “Portal 3” or the simple sliding note opposite the machine-gun-fire drum hits in “Portal 6”, there's never a single layer of sound present that isn't being utilized to its full potential.

The sound here is undeniably direct and aggressive, as is to be expected with techno so perfectly fit for the dance-floor, but Portal's ability to remain captivating from start to finish comes from the subtle ways that tracks develop underneath the mesmerizing repetition. The chirping percussion and soft rumble of “Portal 2” slowly transform into devastatingly hammering drum hits and a wailing, haunting ambiance, while “Portal 7” starts off as a brisk, mechanically clattering passenger car, and ends up feeling like a life-or-death moment; a frantic engine sliding off the rails with its breaks cut. Some of these tracks end up drastically different and far more grandiose than when they began, but they build and evolve in such a smooth way that it's not always obvious they've done so. And while techno that's this mechanically forceful often feels hopelessly bleak and aesthetically grayscale, Vril lets in just enough melody to create powerful hooks while illuminating their dark surroundings, providing a welcome colorization to the industrial imagery that Portal evokes.

In many ways, the largest appeal of Portal and Vril in general is not that far off from the appeal of techno that's oriented for bedroom listening. All the subtleties that make those albums captivating and meditative are at work, only here they're operating on a colossal scale. Portal could easily get by as a collection of excellent dance-floor cuts just based on its raw power and blistering energy, but it's elevated far beyond that by Vril's expert attention to detail. As an album, it's both endlessly rewarding and immediately appealing. It's powerful techno on and off the floor.



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user ratings (25)
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
TMobotron
February 2nd 2015


7236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Absolutely massive. Here's "Portal 2":



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYQjmrreXfQ

iamamanfromspace
February 2nd 2015


1030 Comments


Nice review possy pos

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
February 2nd 2015


19985 Comments


sweet review i was looking for this a while ago

gotta get on it asap

RivalSkoomaDealer
February 2nd 2015


1630 Comments


Sweet, sounds like I need to check this out.

Digging: Abigail Williams - Walk Beyond The Dark

treeqt.
February 2nd 2015


16964 Comments


I GOT EXPECTATIONS FOR THIS ALBUM

Ryus
February 2nd 2015


18067 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is fucking great



aoty so far

ShitsofRain
February 2nd 2015


8169 Comments


me also

but stopped listening after portal 5 or so

some of the first tracks were excellent though

Let
February 2nd 2015


1714 Comments


Solid stuff. Lnrdcroy's album is still my fav dance release so far doe.

T5Cx
February 2nd 2015


159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Portal 7 ends lives.

TMobotron
February 2nd 2015


7236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Portal 7 really is just plain absurd. Thanks for the kind words all, feels weird to have my review get "pos"ed again.

ChoccyPhilly
February 2nd 2015


11950 Comments


Dude, what happened to your contrib tag?

Digging: Mol - JORD

treeqt.
February 2nd 2015


16964 Comments


there was a contrib purging

iamamanfromspace
February 2nd 2015


1030 Comments


gotta check this

Cygnatti
February 2nd 2015


32948 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hoping for the best on this one.

TMobotron
February 4th 2015


7236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah I was part of the purge. 100% understandable though I didn't write enough last year, but it is a bit of a bummer.



I still need to hear the reissue version of that Lnrdcroy album, but yeah I loved the original. Might have to actually grab the vinyl of it and give it a spin.

ShitsofRain
February 5th 2015


8169 Comments


if some of you missed that compilation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHd60K37qq0

it's off da hook

Let
February 5th 2015


1714 Comments


Hell yeah, that was my fav track of the comp. Such a solid release

ShitsofRain
July 5th 2015


8169 Comments


http://www.discogs.com/Zum-Goldenen-Schwarm-Aufgang/release/6643719 vril alias


Negator
August 9th 2015


1583 Comments


Im and soo HYPED to listen to this! I love this artist and a 4.5 rating, it must be great.

Digging: Midnight Odyssey - Biolume Part 1 - In Tartarean Chains

CaptainDooRight
March 5th 2016


4204 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yee

Digging: Sarcasm (SWE) - Esoteric Tales of the Unserene



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