PORTAL

Technical Death Metal • Australia
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Portal are a technical and experimental death metal band hailing from Brisbane, Australia. Formed in 1994, Portal has forged a path in the minds of many metal fans with crushingly heavy, complex and obscure death metal. Portal is not a band for the faint of heart, this is true, raw death metal, complete with gut-wrenching vocals and obscure lyrics shrowded in abstract horror and the occult. The difference between many death metal bands and Portal is that the band mixes complex and experimental concepts, in the creation of a truly heavy and creeping sound. Listening to Portal is a truly unnerving and yet compelling experience. Complementing the suffocating noise, Portal are known for their elaborate live visual elements as well, mixing Industrial era melancholy with dark nightmarish imagery - like a horror film in an old antique shop.

( Biography originally written for Prog Archives by Any Colour You Like)
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Thanks to UMUR for the addition and graphix, Wilytank, tupan, Nightfly for the updates

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IonIon
Profound Lore 2018
$12.09
$9.00 (used)
SeepiaSeepia
Osmose Productions 2008
$15.02
$34.49 (used)
VexovoidVexovoid
Profound Lore 2013
$12.46
SwarthSwarth
Profound Lore 2009
$11.41
$11.40 (used)
OutreOutre
Osmose Productions 2008
$14.99
$29.15 (used)
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NEW Another Portal (Vinyl) NEW Another Portal (Vinyl) USD $48.52 Buy It Now 10h
SCHUMANN - Chamber Music - RUDY / PORTAL / CAUSSE / PERGAMENSCHIKOW - EMI SCHUMANN - Chamber Music - RUDY / PORTAL / CAUSSE / PERGAMENSCHIKOW - EMI USD $10.74 (0 bids)
14h
Ne Obliviscaris - Portal of I [New CD] Deluxe Edition, Digipack Packaging Ne Obliviscaris - Portal of I [New CD] Deluxe Edition, Digipack Packaging USD $20.04 Buy It Now 15h
Ne Obliviscaris - Portal of I [New CD] Deluxe Edition, Digipack Packaging Ne Obliviscaris - Portal of I [New CD] Deluxe Edition, Digipack Packaging USD $15.07 Buy It Now 15h
CYNIC - Portal Tapes - CD - Import - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** - RARE CYNIC - Portal Tapes - CD - Import - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** - RARE USD $75.95 Buy It Now 19h
PORTAL - ION NEW Digipak CD Australian Horror Death Metal Black PORTAL - ION NEW Digipak CD Australian Horror Death Metal Black USD $16.69 Buy It Now 23h
Michel Portal : Eternal Stories CD (2017) ***NEW*** Sealed Fast Dispatch Michel Portal : Eternal Stories CD (2017) ***NEW*** Sealed Fast Dispatch USD $10.72 Buy It Now 1 day
Alexander Tucker - Portal (NEW CD) Alexander Tucker - Portal (NEW CD) USD $13.74 Buy It Now 1 day
Portamento – The Portal CRONOMI005CD 2011 CD Trance Portamento – The Portal CRONOMI005CD 2011 CD Trance USD $8.04 Buy It Now 1 day
Portal Into Fire - Obscene Eulogy (Used Very Good) Portal Into Fire - Obscene Eulogy (Used Very Good) USD $4.94 Buy It Now 1 day
CRAIG PADILLA, SKIP MURPHY, ZERO OHMS Beyond the Portal CD AMBIENT (Steve Roach) CRAIG PADILLA, SKIP MURPHY, ZERO OHMS Beyond the Portal CD AMBIENT (Steve Roach) USD $8.88 Buy It Now 1 day
Mozart Kegelstatt-Trio (CD, Oct-1997, Harmonia Mundi) Michel Portal Mozart Kegelstatt-Trio (CD, Oct-1997, Harmonia Mundi) Michel Portal USD $7.49 Buy It Now 1 day
Portal: Ion LP Portal: Ion LP USD $26.91 Buy It Now 1 day
Generation Maze-Portal 1  CD NEW Generation Maze-Portal 1 CD NEW USD $13.74 Buy It Now 1 day
【NEW】Galileo Galilei Portal Japan CD SECL-1064 CD+DVD 【NEW】Galileo Galilei Portal Japan CD SECL-1064 CD+DVD USD $51.99 Buy It Now 1 day
PORTAL-OUTRE  (UK IMPORT)  CD NEW PORTAL-OUTRE (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $16.80 Buy It Now 2 days
NEW The Golden Portal (Audio CD) NEW The Golden Portal (Audio CD) USD $15.89 Buy It Now 2 days
Grave Upheaval Reaper Textile flag Portal Grave Miasma Teitanblood Encoffination Grave Upheaval Reaper Textile flag Portal Grave Miasma Teitanblood Encoffination USD $26.55 Buy It Now 2 days
KORCIA, PORTAL - BARTOK violin cto, constrasts, sonatas NAIVE 2xCDs NM KORCIA, PORTAL - BARTOK violin cto, constrasts, sonatas NAIVE 2xCDs NM USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2 days
EVERSINES - Portal EP - Vinyl (12 EVERSINES - Portal EP - Vinyl (12") USD $19.11 Buy It Now 2 days
Portal by Deborah Gee (CD, Aug-2000, Naked Music) Portal by Deborah Gee (CD, Aug-2000, Naked Music) USD $3.57 Buy It Now 2 days
PORTAL - Game Soundtrack, Ltd 1st Press GREY/WHITE VINYL LP Debossed Jacket NEW PORTAL - Game Soundtrack, Ltd 1st Press GREY/WHITE VINYL LP Debossed Jacket NEW USD $33.99 Buy It Now 2 days
KRUST - The Portal - Vinyl (12 KRUST - The Portal - Vinyl (12") 31 Records Drum And Bass USD $14.84 Buy It Now 2 days
Minecraft Craftables Steve Nether Alex Spider Wolf Figures Series 1 Mojang J!nx Minecraft Craftables Steve Nether Alex Spider Wolf Figures Series 1 Mojang J!nx USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Brahms,Brahms,Causse,Brahms,Brahms,Causse,Portal,Brahms,Brahms,Causse,Brahms,Bra Brahms,Brahms,Causse,Brahms,Brahms,Causse,Portal,Brahms,Brahms,Causse,Brahms,Bra USD $5.99 Buy It Now 2 days
DEATHSPELL OMEGA The Synarchy Of Molten Bones DIGIPAK ULCERATE GORGUTS PORTAL DEATHSPELL OMEGA The Synarchy Of Molten Bones DIGIPAK ULCERATE GORGUTS PORTAL USD $12.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Xumantra - Golden Portal (CD Used Like New) Xumantra - Golden Portal (CD Used Like New) USD $20.94 Buy It Now 3 days
THE OMINOUS CIRCLE Appalling Ascension 2LP death metal dead congregation portal THE OMINOUS CIRCLE Appalling Ascension 2LP death metal dead congregation portal USD $17.49 Buy It Now 3 days
B 904 BRAHMS Clarinet Sonatas op 120 PORTAL HARMONIA MUNDI STEREO LP NM B 904 BRAHMS Clarinet Sonatas op 120 PORTAL HARMONIA MUNDI STEREO LP NM USD $6.70 (0 bids)
3 days
Ted Barnes ‘Portal Nou’ CD (2008) Clayhill Beth Orton Ted Barnes ‘Portal Nou’ CD (2008) Clayhill Beth Orton USD $1.33 Buy It Now 3 days
Portal - Ion [New Vinyl LP] Portal - Ion [New Vinyl LP] USD $22.97 Buy It Now 3 days
Ion - Portal (Vinyl New) Ion - Portal (Vinyl New) USD $27.99 Buy It Now 3 days
JESSICA WILLIAMS: The Portal Of Antrim LP (cut corner, toc, 1 JESSICA WILLIAMS: The Portal Of Antrim LP (cut corner, toc, 1" top sea USD $12.00 Buy It Now 3 days
NE OBLIVISCARIS - PORTAL OF I [DIGIPAK] USED - VERY GOOD CD NE OBLIVISCARIS - PORTAL OF I [DIGIPAK] USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $13.28 Buy It Now 3 days
MIKE MORASKY/APERTURE SCIENCE PSYCHOACOUSTIC LABORATORIES - PORTAL 2: SONGS TO T MIKE MORASKY/APERTURE SCIENCE PSYCHOACOUSTIC LABORATORIES - PORTAL 2: SONGS TO T USD $16.04 Buy It Now 3 days
Portal - Deborah Gee (CD Used Like New) Portal - Deborah Gee (CD Used Like New) USD $13.07 Buy It Now 3 days
Styles(19) - Mix&Match Music CDs U Pick *NO CASE DISC ONLY* Styles(19) - Mix&Match Music CDs U Pick *NO CASE DISC ONLY* USD $2.63 Buy It Now 3 days
QUATUOR EBENE.MICHEL PORTAL-ETERNAL STORIES-JAPAN CD F83 QUATUOR EBENE.MICHEL PORTAL-ETERNAL STORIES-JAPAN CD F83 USD $27.50 Buy It Now 3 days
V.A.-BAR MUSIC 2017 PORTAL TO...-JAPAN MINI LP CD+2 7INCH VINYL Ltd/Ed K81 V.A.-BAR MUSIC 2017 PORTAL TO...-JAPAN MINI LP CD+2 7INCH VINYL Ltd/Ed K81 USD $46.50 Buy It Now 3 days
V.A.-BAR MUSIC 2017 PORTAL TO IMAGINE SELECTION-JAPAN MINI LP CD F56 V.A.-BAR MUSIC 2017 PORTAL TO IMAGINE SELECTION-JAPAN MINI LP CD F56 USD $26.50 Buy It Now 3 days
Mondo Portal Soundtrack Damaged Jacket + Replacement See Description Mondo Portal Soundtrack Damaged Jacket + Replacement See Description USD $40.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Eternal Stories - Michel Portal Compact Disc Free Shipping! Eternal Stories - Michel Portal Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $22.06 Buy It Now 4 days
CD SUNSCREEM: O3 Columbia 1993 Electronic Album 13 Tracks Portal, Pressure, Dove CD SUNSCREEM: O3 Columbia 1993 Electronic Album 13 Tracks Portal, Pressure, Dove USD $2.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Portal Vinyl Record Soundtrack LP Limited Edition Gray / White Valve Mondo Portal Vinyl Record Soundtrack LP Limited Edition Gray / White Valve Mondo USD $29.99 (0 bids)
USD $49.99 Buy It Now
4 days
STU 71159 Brahms Trio For Violin Horn & Piano Dalberto Lodeon Del Vescovo Portal STU 71159 Brahms Trio For Violin Horn & Piano Dalberto Lodeon Del Vescovo Portal USD $13.41 Buy It Now 4 days
PORTAL / RITES OF THE DEGRINGOLADE Split BROWN LP LTD Deathspell Omega Gorguts PORTAL / RITES OF THE DEGRINGOLADE Split BROWN LP LTD Deathspell Omega Gorguts USD $17.99 (0 bids)
4 days
Black Conjuration Fest patch Bolt Thrower Portal Stargazer Cauldron Black Ram Black Conjuration Fest patch Bolt Thrower Portal Stargazer Cauldron Black Ram USD $6.82 Buy It Now 4 days
PORTAL Reprise CD UK Roisin 1999 10 Track Limited Edition (Roisin09) PORTAL Reprise CD UK Roisin 1999 10 Track Limited Edition (Roisin09) USD $10.52 Buy It Now 4 days
The Mystery of the Crystal Portal (PC CD), , Used; Good CD The Mystery of the Crystal Portal (PC CD), , Used; Good CD USD $1.33 Buy It Now 4 days
Portal 2 Songs To Test By O.S.T. Portal 2 Songs To Test By O.S.T. 4 C NEW sealed Portal 2 Songs To Test By O.S.T. Portal 2 Songs To Test By O.S.T. 4 C NEW sealed USD $37.17 Buy It Now 4 days
MICHEL PORTAL & MASSON BOULEZ DOMAINES BASF HARMONIA MUNDI ED.1 STEREO NM MICHEL PORTAL & MASSON BOULEZ DOMAINES BASF HARMONIA MUNDI ED.1 STEREO NM USD $14.99 Buy It Now 4 days
BAD RELIGION The Riot Caught Live at El Portal 1990 DVD BAD RELIGION The Riot Caught Live at El Portal 1990 DVD USD $7.55 Buy It Now 4 days
5 LP Lot SCHUMANN MOZART BRAHMS BEETHOVEN Graffman Pludermacher Portal Backhaus 5 LP Lot SCHUMANN MOZART BRAHMS BEETHOVEN Graffman Pludermacher Portal Backhaus USD $9.99 (0 bids)
5 days
East Portal Express (CD Used Very Good) East Portal Express (CD Used Very Good) USD $13.46 Buy It Now 5 days
Portal Game OST Soundtrack Vinyl Mondo Con Exclusive Limited Blue Orange Valve Portal Game OST Soundtrack Vinyl Mondo Con Exclusive Limited Blue Orange Valve USD $89.08 Buy It Now 5 days
BEASTMASTER 2 THROUGH PORTAL OF TIME CD SOUNDTRACK LIMITED TO 1500 COPIES MADE BEASTMASTER 2 THROUGH PORTAL OF TIME CD SOUNDTRACK LIMITED TO 1500 COPIES MADE USD $20.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Robert Folk - Beastmaster Ii: Through The Portal Of Time [New CD] Robert Folk - Beastmaster Ii: Through The Portal Of Time [New CD] USD $15.15 Buy It Now 5 days
PAGANIZER (Swe) 7 PAGANIZER (Swe) 7"EP -The Portal- DEATH METAL USD $6.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Robert Folk - Beastmaster Ii: Through The Portal Of Time [New CD] Robert Folk - Beastmaster Ii: Through The Portal Of Time [New CD] USD $20.25 Buy It Now 5 days
PORTAL- Ion, BLACK VINYL LP + Download Gatefold + Poster & Printed Sleeve NEW! PORTAL- Ion, BLACK VINYL LP + Download Gatefold + Poster & Printed Sleeve NEW! USD $21.99 Buy It Now 5 days
THE OMINOUS CIRCLE Appalling Ascension 2LP death metal dead congregation portal THE OMINOUS CIRCLE Appalling Ascension 2LP death metal dead congregation portal USD $26.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Free*Postage NEW Portal Soundtrack Vinyl LP Grey white Mondo Aperture Science Free*Postage NEW Portal Soundtrack Vinyl LP Grey white Mondo Aperture Science USD $54.41 Buy It Now 5 days
HM 1118 MOZART Clarinet Quintet K.581 -Trio K.498 PORTAL/PASQUIER/PIDOUX NM+ HM 1118 MOZART Clarinet Quintet K.581 -Trio K.498 PORTAL/PASQUIER/PIDOUX NM+ USD $14.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Secret Portal - CD - **Mint Condition** Secret Portal - CD - **Mint Condition** USD $28.95 Buy It Now 6 days
NEW Navel Portal Activation and Guided Visualizations (Audio CD) NEW Navel Portal Activation and Guided Visualizations (Audio CD) USD $16.65 Buy It Now 6 days
THE MELOS QUARTET- BRAHMS Quintettes Op 111 & 115 Gerard Causs/Michael Portal CD THE MELOS QUARTET- BRAHMS Quintettes Op 111 & 115 Gerard Causs/Michael Portal CD USD $4.66 Buy It Now 6 days
Portal: Ion CD 2018 Profound Lore Records Canada PFL188 Digipak NEW Portal: Ion CD 2018 Profound Lore Records Canada PFL188 Digipak NEW USD $12.95 Buy It Now 6 days
Xumantra - Golden Portal [New CD] Xumantra - Golden Portal [New CD] USD $21.35 Buy It Now 6 days
GALILEO GALILEI-PORTAL  CD NEW GALILEO GALILEI-PORTAL CD NEW USD $46.05 Buy It Now 6 days
PNEUMA HAGION Trinity I CASSETTE death metal Howling Void portal Teitanblood NEW PNEUMA HAGION Trinity I CASSETTE death metal Howling Void portal Teitanblood NEW USD $6.50 Buy It Now 6 days
Xumantra - Golden Portal [New CD] Xumantra - Golden Portal [New CD] USD $36.32 Buy It Now 6 days
Various Artists, Mik - Portal 2: Songs to Test By (Original Soundtrack) [New CD] Various Artists, Mik - Portal 2: Songs to Test By (Original Soundtrack) [New CD] USD $17.14 Buy It Now 6 days
Various Artists, Mik - Portal 2: Songs to Test By (Original Soundtrack) [New CD] Various Artists, Mik - Portal 2: Songs to Test By (Original Soundtrack) [New CD] USD $16.24 Buy It Now 6 days
Portal Coat Of Arms Patch Gorguts Incantation Immolation Teitanblood Vasaeleth Portal Coat Of Arms Patch Gorguts Incantation Immolation Teitanblood Vasaeleth USD $6.82 Buy It Now 6 days
NEW O Portal (Audio CD) NEW O Portal (Audio CD) USD $15.14 Buy It Now 6 days
Insect Ark - Portal/Well (CD Used Like New) Insect Ark - Portal/Well (CD Used Like New) USD $13.47 Buy It Now 6 days
The New South Wales Machine-Jamming at the Portal: Retrospective 2000-200 CD NEW The New South Wales Machine-Jamming at the Portal: Retrospective 2000-200 CD NEW USD $16.00 Buy It Now 6 days
New South Wales Machine - Jamming At The Portal: Retrospective 2000-200 [CD New] New South Wales Machine - Jamming At The Portal: Retrospective 2000-200 [CD New] USD $14.69 Buy It Now 6 days
THE PORTAL GLORY OF ZION INTERNATIONAL BRAND NEW SEALED CD GLOBAL SPHERES CENTER THE PORTAL GLORY OF ZION INTERNATIONAL BRAND NEW SEALED CD GLOBAL SPHERES CENTER USD $7.34 Buy It Now 6 days
IRKALLIAN ORACLE-GRAVE EKSTASIS-CD-death-black-portal-impetuous ritual-abyssal IRKALLIAN ORACLE-GRAVE EKSTASIS-CD-death-black-portal-impetuous ritual-abyssal USD $13.49 Buy It Now 6 days
STARGAZER faux leather / printed back patch (portal, cauldron black ram) STARGAZER faux leather / printed back patch (portal, cauldron black ram) USD $14.00 Buy It Now 6 days
HOWLS OF EBB faux leather / embroidered back patch (portal, antediluvian) HOWLS OF EBB faux leather / embroidered back patch (portal, antediluvian) USD $14.00 Buy It Now 6 days
ANTEDILUVIAN - Septentrional Theophany 7 ANTEDILUVIAN - Septentrional Theophany 7" (mitochondrion, grave upheaval, portal USD $5.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Coro Infantil : En El Portal De Belen CD Coro Infantil : En El Portal De Belen CD USD $5.98 Buy It Now 6 days
Portal Vinyl Soundtrack Mondo Rare Gray And White Flawless Played Once Portal Vinyl Soundtrack Mondo Rare Gray And White Flawless Played Once USD $40.00 (0 bids)
6 days
Portal - Outre VINYL (SPLATTER) Mitochondrion Abyssal Antediluvian Gorguts Portal - Outre VINYL (SPLATTER) Mitochondrion Abyssal Antediluvian Gorguts USD $25.00 Buy It Now 6 days
ABSU 2014 Australian Tour Poster A3 PORTAL DENOUNCEMENT PYRE Abzu Tara ***NEW*** ABSU 2014 Australian Tour Poster A3 PORTAL DENOUNCEMENT PYRE Abzu Tara ***NEW*** USD $16.65 Buy It Now 7 days
Portal - Daniel Kelly (CD Used Very Good) Portal - Daniel Kelly (CD Used Very Good) USD $13.18 Buy It Now 7 days
Alta Tensão – Portal do Inferno CD Alta Tensão – Portal do Inferno CD USD $11.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Portal - Swarth [New CD] Portal - Swarth [New CD] USD $14.94 Buy It Now 7 days
Portal 'Outre' Brown Splatter Vinyl - NEW Portal 'Outre' Brown Splatter Vinyl - NEW USD $26.99 Buy It Now 7 days
PORTAL - Ion LP - Black Vinyl - Death Metal - NEW COPY - Fancy Pressing Poster PORTAL - Ion LP - Black Vinyl - Death Metal - NEW COPY - Fancy Pressing Poster USD $29.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Portal - Swarth [New CD] Portal - Swarth [New CD] USD $15.80 Buy It Now 7 days
Vives - Doña Francisquita / Domingo, Arteta, Mirabal, Del Portal, C. Álvarez, C. Vives - Doña Francisquita / Domingo, Arteta, Mirabal, Del Portal, C. Álvarez, C. USD $16.86 Buy It Now 7 days
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More places to buy metal & PORTAL music

PORTAL Discography

PORTAL albums / top albums

PORTAL Seepia album cover 4.00 | 5 ratings
Seepia
Technical Death Metal 2003
PORTAL Outre' album cover 3.50 | 5 ratings
Outre'
Technical Death Metal 2007
PORTAL Swarth album cover 3.62 | 4 ratings
Swarth
Technical Death Metal 2009
PORTAL Vexovoid album cover 3.75 | 4 ratings
Vexovoid
Technical Death Metal 2013
PORTAL Ion album cover 4.33 | 2 ratings
Ion
Technical Death Metal 2018

PORTAL EPs & splits

PORTAL The End Mills album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The End Mills
Technical Death Metal 2002
PORTAL Our Dreadfull Sphere / The Sweyy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Our Dreadfull Sphere / The Sweyy
Technical Death Metal 2002
PORTAL The Sweyy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Sweyy
Technical Death Metal 2004
PORTAL Portal / Blood of Kingu album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Portal / Blood of Kingu
Technical Death Metal 2014

PORTAL live albums

PORTAL demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

PORTAL Portal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Portal
Technical Death Metal 1998
PORTAL Lurker At The Threshold album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lurker At The Threshold
Technical Death Metal 2006

PORTAL re-issues & compilations

PORTAL singles (0)

PORTAL movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

PORTAL Reviews

PORTAL Ion

Album · 2018 · Technical Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
The stygian band PORTAL has emerged from its secret Australian outpost after a five year gap following their previous release “Vexovoid” (which ironically has already spawned a new band with that name). Following in the footsteps of their extreme surreality that some call avant-garde blackened death metal comes the followup ION which continues the brash brutality fix that they have been known for since the beginning. While their influences may have emerged from Morbid Angel, Beherit and Immolation, PORTAL have long since found their own comfort zone of death metal reality to call their own by becoming one with a parallel musical reality that sounds as if they are somehow trapped between a hyperdrive dimensional shift and in the process something went really, really wrong. Drowned in darkness and delivered in dense undulating waves of sonic fury, ION finds PORTAL churning out their most frenetic and brutal release to date.

As the intro track “Nth” slinks into existence as if a subtle hazy brume has wafted into your room, the ghostly fortifications of muffled tortured screams emulate with backmasked effects creating a dark ambient horrorshow soundtrack and thus insinuating a return to the impenetrable layers of atmospheric darkness that had created their wickedly new realm for extreme tech death metal. However, as the first blistering notes of “ESP ION AGE” rage into the scene, we are confronted with a new interdimensional rage and fury usually reserved for only the most brutal of death metal beasts more often heard in bands like Suffocation, however the angular nature and complete detachment from traditional old school standards allows a sepulchral wall of sound that allows each wailing formless riff to pierce the soul like a dagger flaying a adrenaline fueled beating heart. Add the pummeling relentless percussive overdrive with groaning guttural growls and the divinity of chaos has been reached.

The name ION is a fitting title if you know chemistry. An ION is an atom or a molecule with a non-zero net electrical charge, meaning it is either positive or negative and very susceptible to energy changes thus creating a potential for massive instability. As such PORTAL have constructed the perfect soundtrack for a state of energy easily activated by entropic changes and thus erratic and unpredictable shifts in magnetic fields. The noises emerging from the freneticism of the guitar, bass and drums are tantamount to the ionizing effect of a built up electrical charge bolting down from the thundering skies above with pulverizing consequences for any hapless atoms in the line of fire. PORTAL simulates the same sort of lightning bolt reality with jagged undulating waves of sound that capture brutal metal instrumentation in flux with atmospheric dungeony bleakness.

PORTAL remains an enigmatic and mysterious beast. Graced with faced masks and alter egos (such as The Curator on vocals and Horror Illogium on lead guitar), the band more than lives up to this alienating image with the brutal angularity and interdimensional avant-garde compositional constructs of ION. Once the dark ambient intro cedes into the frenetic chaotic metal meltdown the album remains relentless in its caustic between-realities surrealism that culminates in the harsh noise sonic terrorism of the instrumental “Spores” and then after one more shovel in the face with “Phathom” ends the album with the psychically damaging metaphysical dark ambient horror theme outro of “Old Guarde.”

While many tech death bands try to deliver the goods by creating sonic impressions of otherworldly atmospheres and moods, nobody does it quite like PORTAL. Perhaps the strange landscapes of their land down under have given them an alternative view on reality where their angular riffs shape shift like restless sands in the great deserts that cover most of their homeland. Whatever the case, PORTAL have perfected their sonic surrealistic terrorism with nine undulating tracks that despite sounding like no other band, remain utterly distinct from each other as one seemingly formless riff frenzy somehow ekes out a series of recognizable patterns that barely allow it to be classified as music as if the band are in the process of creating a whole new grammatical paradigm for death metal. One that the listener learn this new diabolical language and lexicon before being admitted to the club. Yes, this is an acquired taste reserved for only the seekers of the most technical sort of earache music possible, but if that’s what you crave, PORTAL delivers like a charm.

PORTAL Seepia

Album · 2003 · Technical Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Seepia" is the debut full-length studio album by Australian death metal act Portal. The album was released through Blacktalon Media in November 2003. Portal have made quite the name for themselves in the extreme metal underground during their existence as a band and already this early on in their career their abstract horror/occult concept and theatrical live performances (the band perform wearing costumes) were fully developed. The same can be said about their unique approach to playing death metal. They obviously had a fully developed conceptual plan from the get go and followed it.

Portal play an incredibly dense, almost suffocating, murky, dissonant and experimental form of death metal. It´s fast, it´s brutal, murky and dark, but from there most "conventional" ideas of how death metal should sound are thrown out the window. The tracks feature unconventional structures, the riffs are twisted, distorted and dissonant and the unintelligible growling vocals are placed low in the mix. The album features a sound, that to the untrained ear, might sound like utter chaos and dissonant noise, but upon closer examination is meticulously crafted. I guess a more experimental and dissonant sounding Incantation could be mentioned as a reference, but "Seepia" is overall quite unique sounding. The abstract/occult horror atmosphere (I´m thinking a more abstract and beastly H.P. Lovecraft) provides the album with a little extra too.

If words like experimental, odd, abstract, dissonant, intense, murky, uncompromising and chaotic spark your interest, "Seepia" is the kind of album that applies to those words. Portal skillfully weave the meaning behind the above mentioned words into their own unique take on death metal. It´s not an easy listening experience and upon initial listens it might come off as uninviting, but "Seepia" grow upon repeated listens and I dare say I have even discovered hooks in the music over time. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved. It´s nice to hear that there are still artists able to challenge the rather strict conventions of death metal and thereby helping the style to expand.

PORTAL Seepia

Album · 2003 · Technical Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Yog Sothoth
I can safely say that none of these songs will ever be used in a Volvo or a Gap television ad. If you're not a death metal fan, this is actually a good album to own if for no other reason than to play it to certain death metal fans just to hear them say things about the music that you and most of the world say concerning death metal in general. To say this album is a difficult listen is like saying Victoria Beckham is a velociraptor in disguise. That's just how it is. This may be one of the most entertaining extreme albums I've ever heard. The overall impression one would get from a first listen would be a swirling miasma of unusual and brutal chaos interspersed with morbid creepy ambience. It has all the elements of death metal: distorted down-tuned guitars, bass, a drummer on speed, cocaine and Turkish espresso, and guttural roars for vocals. Thing is, what Portal does with these blueprints is throw them all in a nuclear blender, stir in a darker sense of atmosphere and a few spoonfuls of gloomy soundscapes, and carefully pour the results into eight wine glasses. The result is Seepia. It's delicious to the few and the proud, and a great way to clear the house of unwanted guests. It's also quite technical without being a blatant showcase of virtuosity due to the chaotic wall of sound, and it's even further removed from grindcore than death metal, although there's maybe a bit of black metal seeping through on a purely aesthetic level. The lyrics, when actually read, veer towards the Lovecraftian in nature, which adds to the final package.

The production here is a notable factor that personally elevates this album above their other efforts. The music is ridiculously chaotic, but thanks to the lack of reverb on the guitar tracks, there are plenty of instances where the horrifyingly bizarre and fast melodies rear their mottled heads to fry the brains of the listener. When the guitars do play chords on the heavier strings, they are so down-tuned they sometimes sound like a school of sharks devouring Captain Crunch (the cereal and the pirate). At other times, lower chords are dismissed in favor of weird atonal high note patterns and tremolo riffing. "Transcending a Mere Multiverse" has a multitude of decipherable musical moments showcasing the dual guitars playing some of the weirdest note patterns in sync that I've heard, even on an avant garde scale. There are no pretty arpeggios to be found anywhere near this creation. "Vessel" of Balon is notable since it's the only track to even remotely flirt with more conventional death metal, if briefly near the song's end.

The vocals aren't completely buried in the mix, and when occasional outbursts are accented with a liberal dousing of reverb, the effect is monstrous. The opening track utilizes reverb to maximum effect. The rhythm section is where these tracks are barely held together with the drummer pummeling away in a precise manner. Occasionally he'll do some odd things like accentuate certain "riffs" with high tom rolls and slow down the pace in a gradual fashion before lurching into some crazed blasting or stopping altogether. Nothing is really predictable, even the promise of extreme noise in every track since one of the numbers is basically morbid ambience. The ending of the last track is particularly unsettling as the music morphs into some weird soundscape of horror music and looped samples warped to levels by the mixing board that offer an effect of being sucked into a vortex. Fun stuff.

I enjoyed this album a great deal, even though a part of me says it's not wise to find pleasure in this piece of music. The band name is apt, since hearing Seepia is like being hurled through a portal to a terrain where music is played "wrong" yet sounds so "right". The Old Ones would boogie to this.

PORTAL Outre'

Album · 2007 · Technical Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Conor Fynes
'Outre' - Portal (6/10)

I'll be quite frank; it can be a little difficult to sit through an entire listen of any album by Portal. This is not to say that I find the music bad or non-conducive to my tastes; I have no qualm with music that use elements of noise or are highly technical. However, the fact that this Austrailian death metal band is absolutely unrelenting in the way they barrage the listener with wave upon wave of dissonant noise and growling can wear thin even on the most seasoned listener. Maybe more interesting even for their weird-as-all-hell image and aesthetic than they are for the music itself, Portal are certainly a strange foe to contend with, but everything aside, going into Portal, one knows what they are getting into. This is a jarring listen, but for those who can cope with the noise, Portal's 'Outre' might be a refreshing kick in one's innards.

Downtuned riffs of likely jaw-dropping technicality are very often lost in an ocean of distortion and noise, but when they do peek through, it is easy to tell that the guitarists in the band can play their instruments exceedingly well; check out a live video of theirs to see what I mean. In there somewhere are drums, which do feel as if they could have done with a little more technicality, to match up with the furious guitars. Really, the only thing that manages to escape the noise are the vocals of The Curator, who churns out some of the weirdest lyrics one is bound to hear this side of The Mars Volta, but the vocal delivery does feel a little monotonous, relying on a single brand of grunt that works perfectly for the music.

While Portal may not sound too great from what has already been said, one thing they do nail down perfectly is atmosphere. Much death metal doesn't tend to evoke an honest feeling of dread in me, but Portal's noisy and dissonant expression will always at least make me feel uneasy while listening to it, in the most pleasant way of course. The problem possibly arises in the fact that Portal never changes up their sound, leaving only the breaks between songs for the listener to relax. With some sort of dynamic in their sound, 'Outre' could have seen Portal do quite a bit better. However, for the sake of their original sound and grasp of atmosphere, Portal may be worth checking out for someone with a very specific mood for noisy horror metal.

PORTAL Swarth

Album · 2009 · Technical Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Conor Fynes
'Swarth' - Portal (7/10)

Coming from a band with an image almost as strange and disturbed as their music, it should come as no surprise to listeners that Australian experimental death metal monsters Portal are not an easily pill to swallow. With 2009's 'Swarth', here is a forty minute barrage of noise, blastbeats, growls and inhumanly distorted riffs. Although the music of this band is sure to only appeal to a specific, particularly maniacal brand of the metal crowd, Portal take their style of deranged Lovecraftian metal and do some great things with it.

'Swarth' takes no time to get started, almost immediately throwing the listener down into a pit of nothingness. From the title track to the last moment of music here, there is a nearly unrelenting wave of harsh, abrasive sounds, with little- if any- respite to speak of. That being said, the effect of this sound is undeniable. What they may lack in variety and dynamic, Portal makes up for in atmosphere. Soundwise, Portal has a fairly unique sound for death metal, sounding like an atmospheric black metal group toned down a few octaves, and filtered through three or four added distortion boxes. Atmosphere is key here; through all of the growls, noisy waves of abrasion and heaviness, there lies a deep sense of despair and horror that stays comfortably in check with the Lovecraftian themes Portal builds around.

In terms of the performance itself, the riffs here are very technical from the sounds of it, but any intricacy is lost in the noisy foliage of the production, which is surprisingly high fidelity for such an unclear recording. Coming through most profoundly are the blistering drums of Ignis Fatuus, who never cease to amaze through their martial displays and ferocious blast beats.

Certainly no band for the weak-hearted, Portal does not compromise even slightly with their sound on 'Swarth'. Very noisy and dense, and none too light on variety, but the sheer impact is undeniable.

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