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Portal - Seepia CD (album) cover

SEEPIA

Portal

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.88 | 11 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "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.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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