Portal - Swarth (2009)
Portal is a recent discovery and Swarth was the first album I purchased. I enjoy a lot of Death Metal, but as of late a lot of it sounds the same. It has become more and more difficult to discern between the different bands, and I haven't been buying a lot of DM because of this reason. Portal is very challenging music, and I think the people that have made overtly negative reviews of this and other Portal offerings lack the intelligence necessary to understand Portal's music. The production is very different from what most metal fans are accustomed to. The drums are buried in the mix, the guitars are very prominent but are so distorted it becomes very challenging to make out the virtuoso, hyper-technical instrumentation. Portal has pioneered a truly original sound. Now, I can only speak for myself, but this album invokes a visceral sense of horror and doom, and is one of the more evil, tormented-sounding recordings I've heard. Portal grind out a hypnotic, grandiose din that is truly original, and the breathy, growling vocals only add to the overwhelming sense of terror and foreboding. This is a truly original act. I think this album should appeal to Black Metal fans as well as fans of Grindcore (the former is used to poor production and typically prefers it - not to say that this is poor production, but BM fans will appreciate having to dig around in the muck for all of the sonic tidbits hiding within; the latter because this is a churning, grinding cyclone of molten hell).