Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Best of 2007 - #18

18. portal - 'outre''
[review published on issue #82 of LOUD! magazine, translated and slightly adapted for too.many.records.]
Profound Lore's releases have been consistently brilliant so far, especially in 2007, and Portal is no exception. These mysterious, hooded Aussies, with their second album, take the rotten carcass of death metal, decomposed and eaten by whatever creatures that come out of this portal, to levels of unimaginable degradation. At the core of their line-up, a couple of members from Star Gazer (if you don't know them, go get 'The Scream That Tore The Sky'. Like, now.), a band that does their own sort of sinister, cosmic death metal - Portal is just the opposite. Organic, mouldy, subterraneously monstrous. This music is abject, ugly and at first glance not subtle at all, but at the same time it exhales a ritualistic feeling that provides some haunting to the cavern where it takes place. Gone are the days when extreme music used to really scare us, but hideous pourings such as 'Black Houses' or 'Omnipotent Crawling Chaos' are probably the closest we can get to that. In a moment of rare inspiration, the record label describes this record as the soundtrack to Dali's disturbing horror short movie 'Un Chien Andalou', and that's in fact the best way to approach this. It also gives an idea of the graphically evocative potential of 'Outre´'. Rarely has a recent record given way to such brain activity, desperately trying to picture the abominations suggested by it. Apparent frivolities like a fantastically designed digipak take a particular place of relevance here, and contribute to an indissociable whole, despite the exclusivity of this sort of thing - just like other prophets of esoteric terror like Khanate, The Axis Of Perdition or even 80s Swans, 'Outre’' is not for the ones who want it, it's for the ones who can take it.

Portal - 'Omnipotent Crawling Chaos'

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