Portal – Swarth (Profound Lore Records)Sunday, 17th March 2013
It’s a warped, disturbing sound emanating from Portal. They’ve always gone this route, these lunatic Australians, and it has netted some utterly messed-up results, especially 2007’s Outre, which practically defied all logic within the death metal realm. Swarth continues in that fashion and while it’s not as deranged as Outre, it’s another genre-defying, boundary-pusher.
Swarth has the tendency to blur together, which was entirely expected. It sounds like the band is still playing in friggin’ cave and that’s great, because it makes it uncomfortable and most of all, unrelenting. There’s still some blurring with basement BM crowd, something Portal is much more significant than, but you can attribute that entirely to the fact that it’s a little under-produced (on purpose, mind you) and the atmosphere will suck one dry.
Suggestion: put this on and play it a few times in a row. Step back, and do it again. It’s such a radical departure from the usual cleaned-up, nice-and-pretty sonics we’re accustomed to hearing, that it can rattle one’s musical psyche. Granted, most of us aren’t willing to take such measures, but such is the price to pay for musical destruction. Portal remain untouched.
(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)