Jan 182013

NPR’s Lars Gotrich has been a fan of Australia’s Portal for a long time. I’m pretty sure that seeing a Portal video in one of his columns a couple of years ago was when it dawned on me that NPR’s music focus was beginning to spread out into darker places than I knew. Because seriously, music doesn’t get much darker than Portal’s.

Mr. Gotrich has scored another Portal debut. Today he premiered a track named “The Back Wards” at NPR, which comes from the band’s next album, Vexovoid, due for release on Feb 19 via Profound Lore.

It’s four minutes and sixteen seconds of grinding noise, needling guitar leads, calamitous percussion, and Cthulhu vocalizations. The aura is dank and destructive, pummeling and perilous. 

The NPR column is accompanied by that new photo (above) of Portal frontman/front-thing The Curator in his latest finery. As Lars notes, it does kinda look like a kaffiyeh. I’m sure it will be all the rage by the time spring fashions arrive.

GO HERE to be lashed by “The Back Wards”.

  5 Responses to “PORTAL: “THE BACK WARDS””

  1. Awesome. Just a few minutes ago I placed an order for Swarth, and then I saw you post this.

  2. Man. What a strange feeling. I really want to love Portal’s music but it seems to almost fall into what NCS readers know as the “war metal” category… and the trouble, if that be the case, is that Mitochondrion and DIS just, to my taste, do it better. And they leave out the gimmicky costumes and such. This is admittedly biased. I have long acknowledged my disdain for costume, gimmicks, themes and anything other than dudes in t-shirts playing instruments at a high level. Anybody? Thoughts?

    • I heard Portal’s music before I saw what they look like on stage, and I immediately liked their sound. Several months went by before I ever saw a picture of what they look like while performing. Because the music attracted me first, I am not bothered by the costumes. If costumes and theatrics are adorning a band that has uninteresting music or poor instrumental and compositional skill, then I wouldn’t be interested anyway. Usually I think I would agree with you, and would prefer to see musicians playing their music without any superfluous ornamentation. Maybe what matters is whether the adornment is truly superfluous or distracting. I don’t think it is in this case. I think the Curator’s costumes are disturbingly creepy, just like their music. I find their songs unsettling, but in a way that makes me want to listen again. The costumes fit that mood. I especially like the clock head. Whether Mitochondrion or others are better at this style of metal, depends, as you suggest, on taste. For me they are just different, and I like both Mitochondrion and Portal.

      I may know what I want to be for next Halloween now: the Clock-Head Curator. No one will know what I am supposed to be.

      They’ll ask, “What are you supposed to be?”

      “I am the Curator,” I will respond, and just stand there silently staring back at them with my clock-head, offering no further explanation. They will feel uneasy, like something inside them died, unable to explain why they want to go home, hide under the covers, and weep.

    • While Im not a huge fan of Portals music, I did get the chance to see them live a few years back. Honestly…between the costumes, the dim lights, etc..they create a hell of an atmosphere when the play. My two cents…their look actually does add something to the music in a live setting, and Id say its a pretty effective prop, not just something they do to look cool

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.