Portrayal of Guilt
We Are Always Alone


4.5
superb

Review

by Erwann S. CONTRIBUTOR (41 Reviews)
February 1st, 2021 | 187 replies


Release Date: 01/29/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The building crumbles and the smoke fills the air. This is where I belong.

Where lies the future of heavy music? Save from maybe post-metalcore - a term that still needs to go beyond Sputnikmusic's influence realm - few genres, or even subgenres, seem to have properly arisen to the spotlight in the past few years. On the contrary, many genres have indulged in polygamy, black metal being fused with sludge, hardcore punk, or powerviolence, the end goal being clear: create the most disgusting blend of violent music possible. Portrayal of Guilt have been wanting to come up with such a result since their first self-titled EP, and have only further enhanced the richness of their formula. Their first album, Let Pain Be Your Guide, was a bleak and energized blackened hardcore/screamo piece that already delved into the bizarre relationship between pain and enjoyment.

Put simply, We Are Always Alone is a consequential step up from the debut, unraveling more sheer force and power, while also displaying the vilest side of their musical spectrum. While black metal already constituted a fair share of their formula on their previous album, it has now taken on a greater role, at times leading the sonic charge like on "Masochistic Oath". Sludgy screamo and powerviolence still compose the majority of the violence at play, but Portrayal of Guilt seem to have decided to make their music nastier by taking more patience with it. "Anesthetized" sees a crunchy bass take the lead, constructing rhythmic loops from which drums and then guitar start to discharge their dissonance and brutality. Construction is key here, the band carefully choosing to let one sole instrument set the mood, slowly adding layers on top of layers, before letting it all explode into primal rage. These explosions also are better achieved than ever: the band's soundscape is ampler and more massive thanks to the wall-of-sound production, the musicians are more skilled than before, and, more generally, the songwriting has improved. What once was a succession of short, brutal bangers has become a suite of longer, more constructed tracks that prove Portrayal of Guilt is no one-trick pony band. "My Immolation" is the perfect example of this evolution, its clean vocals strikingly breaking the demonic screams' hegemony, before a discordant guitar plays, alone, a ritornello whose repetition only increases its oppressive character.

This is thus a work of desperate sorrow, as both the music and the lyrics never let hope come forth long enough. This is a work of constant pain; a pain that can never disappear, be it through the help of religion or drugs. This is this extreme philosophy that differentiates Portrayal of Guilt from their peers. Some recent heavy juggernauts such as Rolo Tomassi have made a name for themselves by gracefully fusing the angelic and the diabolic, while Conjurer are less nihilistic, and Nuvolascura are calling for action. The lyrical apathy shown through all twenty-six minutes of We Are Always Alone is the continuation of the masochism displayed on Let Pain Be Your Guide: on that album, the gloom was energized to such a degree that it felt like the band was satirizing their own aesthetic. Three years later, there is no satire or irony to be found anymore. The three members are dead serious and seem to wallow in suicidal apathy. It's not that pain is to be your guide, it's that pain will always be your guide, and you can do nothing about it. Portrayal of Guilt represent that new wave of heavy music, the one that neither hesitates to make all possible aesthetics its own, nor to hold the speeches least related to the current "bien-pensance". In a way, this is what we can only hope for the future of metal and hardcore: to further flourish by fusing all their parent influences, and by giving the stage to the most extreme human thoughts.



Recent reviews by this author
Alpha Wann don dada mixtape vol. 1Turnstile Glow On
Deafheaven Infinite GraniteMC Solaar Qui seme le vent recolte le tempo
Amenra De DoornErika de Casier Sensational
user ratings (236)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
dedex
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2021


9113 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

been enjoying this babe a lot



Stream: https://portrayalofguilt.bandcamp.com/album/we-are-always-alone



Digging: Lil Ugly Mane - VOLCANIC BIRD ENEMY AND THE VOICED CONCERN

Wildcardbitchesss
February 1st 2021


5608 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is such a step up from their first record. These guys are gonna blow up.

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2021


9113 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Totally agree



Just realized it's my fav 2021 release so far m/

DDDeftoneDDD
February 1st 2021


18848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

hell yeah! m/

Digging: Mannveira - Vitahringur

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2021


9113 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I was waiting for you DDD

DDDeftoneDDD
February 1st 2021


18848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

And I for you bro dedex.



I loved the rev I just I don't see the screamo here honestly...their melodic sections certainly give this cool post hardcore feel to it, but when they scream is more towards the nihilistic filthy sludgecore area. They really nailed it here with where I wanted for them to go to. This shit is awesome! Like a more "accessible" (lol) Full of Hell.

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2021


9113 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

They def got a filthy sludge vibe, sure, but to me the melodic sections and some of the screaming make this very skramz



This shit is awesome! [2] haaaaard brother

DDDeftoneDDD
February 1st 2021


18848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

sure...perhaps like Cara Neir is sometimes something related to sreamo, although I struggle to see it, cause I'm not an emo/screamo dude.



btw - new Cara Neir pretty soon, with an awesome cover!

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2021


9113 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, I hear clear skramz influences in Cara Neir as well. It's true though that these two bands fuse enough influences for none of these to truly overtake the others.

oh damn, sweet news

Taxt
February 1st 2021


1497 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is so good, I would kill to see this band live

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2021


9113 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Saw them before the 'rona with Touché Amoré and Deafheaven, and while I remember them being real good I didn't know them enough at the time. Would love to see them again though!

Wildcardbitchesss
February 1st 2021


5608 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Saw them open for Birds in Row before their first record even came out, and yeah they’re fucking killer live.

Their audiotree session is pretty sweet too

Scoot
February 1st 2021


20775 Comments


now this is some tasty shit

DDDeftoneDDD
February 1st 2021


18848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"their audiotree session is pretty sweet too" oh shit, oughta take care of that

JayEnder
February 1st 2021


11331 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This fucking owns. That melodic riff in Anesthetized is just hnnnng



Great review too dedex!

Digging: Vildhjarta - Msstaden Under Vatten

botb
February 1st 2021


14809 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The most cohesive thing this band has ever done album wise. Everything else is like a collection of cool songs that doesn’t really flow

Bedex
February 1st 2021


2760 Comments


POSD

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
February 1st 2021


15223 Comments


Very nice bro

Rawmeeth38
February 2nd 2021


1880 Comments


Gotta check this

FearThyEvil
February 2nd 2021


17533 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Holy fuck! Garden of Despair absolutely rips. I loved their debut and this is even better. Band is really coming together



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy