February 23, 2013

Portal - Vexovoid (2013)

Everyone's favorite Australian incomprehensible death metal band is back at it! Someone once described Portal as Immolation from another galaxy playing everything in reverse (or something along these lines) and this description couldn't be more fitting now that they've released their new album Vexovoid. Picking up right where 2009's Swarth left off, The Curator and his gang of hooded beings unleash a new sonic onslaught worthy of their reputation.

Everything is pretty much exactly what I expected. The production is murky and thick, the riffs are similarly dirty and hard to descipher, the songs are composed of multiple shifting patterns that are difficult to pinpoint, The Curator's voice is just as throaty and fear-inducing as always and the general atmosphere is so barbaric and oppressive that it makes you wonder just what abyssal pit did these guys really crawl out of. Oh, and their lyrics are ermetic as fuck and I can't understand any of it. I am trying to make sense of all those weird words that sound as if they were dictated by ancient aliens, but to no avail. But here, maybe you can:

Uhhh... what?

All of this adds up to a typical Portal album - nobody understands it, but everybody swears it's good. Their reputation probably adds a lot of unnecessary pressure to like their music and pretend that you totally get it, when in fact you have no idea what's going on. It's definitely an interesting and fascinating listen, but it is also a difficult album to get into. Which is why I'm having a hard time figuring out why sites like Pitchfork, which usually review Gucci Mane mixtapes, are getting so excited over this band. Still, the feeling of sheer cosmik terror you get from listening to Vexovoid is enough to warrant a recommendation from me, so go listen to this sonic deformity. You might not understand it, but you will certainly feel it.

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