Portal - ION



7.1 | 61 votes |
Release date: 26 January 2018
Style: Experimental death metal

Owners:

31 have it
4 want it


01. Nth
02. ESP ION AGE
03. Husk
04. Phreqs
05. Crone
06. Revault Of Volts
07. Spores
08. Phathom
09. Olde Guarde

Staff review by
Apothecary
Rating:
7.0
Albums that sit somewhere in the 6 - 7 range for rating are often some of the most disappointing, because, while not terrible, they often end up leaving such a strong impression of "this could have been better." With the fearsome, commendable reputation they've acquired over the years, the nightmarish Portal would probably be one of the last bands one would ever expect to drop such an album. But, for better or worse, we find ourselves in such a situation with ION.

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published 11.02.2018 | Comments (11)

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Comments

Comments: 29   Visited by: 163 users
23.11.2017 - 20:04
3rdWorld
The Psilosopher
The best death metal band in the planet atm.
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24.11.2017 - 05:26
VIG
Esoteric Zachism
Written by 3rdWorld on 23.11.2017 at 20:04

The best death metal band in the planet atm.

Hmm. Desolate Shrine is way up there for me, and Venenum is on the horizon. I am hearing a lot of negative things about the released track, I still haven't listened to it.
EDIT: Oh shit, forget about Venenum (although they are excellent), but Howls Of Ebb and Khthoniik Cerviiks!
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24.11.2017 - 18:08
3rdWorld
The Psilosopher
Written by VIG on 24.11.2017 at 05:26

Hmm. Desolate Shrine is way up there for me, and Venenum is on the horizon. I am hearing a lot of negative things about the released track, I still haven't listened to it.
EDIT: Oh shit, forget about Venenum (although they are excellent), but Howls Of Ebb and Khthoniik Cerviiks!

But Vexovoid! To be fair, all of the bands are brilliant but If I have pick out just one death metal band as an example of combining both the best of past, present and laying down the path for future, it would be Portal.
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14.12.2017 - 19:29
Rating: 7
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by 3rdWorld on 23.11.2017 at 20:04

The best death metal band in the planet atm.

Sorry, but Chaos Echoes would like a word with you
----
This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
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21.01.2018 - 21:00
VIG
Esoteric Zachism
Written by Apothecary on 14.12.2017 at 19:29

Sorry, but Chaos Echoes would like a word with you
("death metal" is a tenuous label with them though, you may have me there)

Actually I'd agree with this now.
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22.01.2018 - 10:52
Paz
Inner Metal Cage
I wasn't blown away after my first listen
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Follow me on Instagram:

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26.01.2018 - 00:43
Rating: 7
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
I'm not as bothered with this new sense of production as some seem to be, but I understand why it's a point of dissatisfaction for many, and it does indeed diminish the soul sucking feeling of earlier, like a black sentient curtain is slowly suffocating you. It's not absolute shit by a long shot, but it's not "the trademark Portal sound" either. Somehow these albums that sit in like 6 - 7 range that come out of truly great bands are the ones that upset me the most though, because they leave such a strong "this could have been better" impression.
----
This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
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26.01.2018 - 01:24
Rating: 6
theFIST
Written by 3rdWorld on 24.11.2017 at 18:08

But Vexovoid! brilliant

Vexovoid was a great album, Swarth was amazing, but this just is
it clearly is another Portal album, yet not on the level of its predecessors
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http://metalstormmusicianscorner.bandcamp.com
Written by Warman on 07.11.2007 at 22:39
Haha, that's like saying "compose your own Metal album and upload it here, instead of writing a review of an album". :lol:
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26.01.2018 - 04:50
Rating: 7
LeKiwi
High Fist Prog
Band name and album cover point towards HP influences...
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26.01.2018 - 14:57
Rating: 7
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by LeKiwi on 26.01.2018 at 04:50

Band name and album cover point towards HP influences...

It's not Lovecraft, it's just their own bizarre combination of influences from several horror and sci fi authors (probably including Lovecraft, but not limited to him). The video for Curtain, for example, is apparently inspired by Poe's The Conqueror Worm
----
This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
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26.01.2018 - 21:46
Rating: 5
mz
Sounds like a third rate portal clone with bad production.
I'm pretty sure that this is the biggest musical disappointment I have had in at least a couple of years. these guys seriously dropped the balls.
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Giving my ears a rest from music.
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27.01.2018 - 02:40
jmika
Written by 3rdWorld on 23.11.2017 at 20:04

The best death metal band in the planet atm.

No, sorry.... best dm is from NZ.
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28.01.2018 - 23:18
VIG
Esoteric Zachism
Written by jmika on 27.01.2018 at 02:40

Written by 3rdWorld on 23.11.2017 at 20:04

The best death metal band in the planet atm.

No, sorry.... best dm is from NZ.

Ulcerate?

I would say Chaos Echoes
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31.01.2018 - 01:07
Rating: 7
musicalkaratekid
Written by VIG on 24.11.2017 at 05:26

Written by 3rdWorld on 23.11.2017 at 20:04

The best death metal band in the planet atm.

Hmm. Desolate Shrine is way up there for me, and Venenum is on the horizon. I am hearing a lot of negative things about the released track, I still haven't listened to it.
EDIT: Oh shit, forget about Venenum (although they are excellent), but Howls Of Ebb and Khthoniik Cerviiks!

Another person who holds Venenum in equally high regard as me. I can see the band having an excellent future career if future efforts are anything like last year's "Trance of Death".
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31.01.2018 - 17:54
3rdWorld
The Psilosopher
The production here is fucking cheap and dry. Not a fit sound at all for Portal.
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31.01.2018 - 20:13
Kurty Wurty
Amatsu Mikaboshi
Written by Apothecary on 26.01.2018 at 14:57

Written by LeKiwi on 26.01.2018 at 04:50

Band name and album cover point towards HP influences...

It's not Lovecraft, it's just their own bizarre combination of influences from several horror and sci fi authors (probably including Lovecraft, but not limited to him). The video for Curtain, for example, is apparently inspired by Poe's The Conqueror Worm

Honestly the akbums ION theme made me think of the X-Files episode D.P.O. plus the album cover was like something from Metropolis.

On second listen, it seems that the guitars and vocals are vacumed into the mix of muffled sound same ontop of that muffled chaotic signature style they include. It all sounds watered down, intentionally as a minimalistic approach. Vacum cleaner experimental death.
I fucking loved the album trailer that appeared before Hallowéen that I wanted them to approach - pure nightmare fuelled noise. Which I could try to scrape some of that to an extent from Olde Guarde.
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03.02.2018 - 22:57
jmika
Written by VIG on 28.01.2018 at 23:18

Written by jmika on 27.01.2018 at 02:40

Written by 3rdWorld on 23.11.2017 at 20:04

The best death metal band in the planet atm.

No, sorry.... best dm is from NZ.

Ulcerate?

I would say Chaos Echoes


Yes, Ulcerate of course. Artistic hard hitting splendor. You can tell these guys mean every note, every word shared with the listener. They are being brutal without even trying, it comes natural to them. That's one of the things that makes the music so perfect to begin with. And everyone needs to stop comparing them to Gorguts... two different soundscapes.
Chaos Echoes, will have to check them out.
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03.02.2018 - 23:04
VIG
Esoteric Zachism
Written by jmika on 03.02.2018 at 22:57

Chaos Echoes, will have to check them out.

Chaos Echoes is 100% improvised death metal. They just get together and record. It comes out way better than expected.
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11.02.2018 - 23:57
Rating: 7
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Kurty Wurty on 31.01.2018 at 20:13

Olde Guarde.

Easily the best track here, I'm happy that the album ended on a high note with that one because it works as a big redeemer. The atmospheric section from like 4 1/2 minutes on is especially interesting. I always wondered what Portal would sound like in a purely dark ambient incarnation and that portion of the track definitely gives some ideas that make my mouth water.
----
This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
Loading...
16.02.2018 - 23:59
Rating: 7
Maco
Handbanana
It's the same shit they've been doing for years. Very good, digging it.
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I'm derp.
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21.02.2018 - 04:01
Rating: 8
Nicko's Nose
This is amazing. I can't believe how low the rating is.
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01.03.2018 - 19:20
DeliciousDishes
Come to think of it, why are there so few electricity themed metal albums? This is a perfect fit for Portal from what I've heard of them before. Really need to check this one out more in depth than their other stuff.
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31.03.2018 - 15:55
Rating: 8
LuciferOfGayness
MS necromancer
So tight! So electric!
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02.04.2018 - 00:01
Vombatus
Potorro
This is good, would be fantastic if throughout the whole album it had that background washing machine noise there is on Spores. Best track here, it's freaking vicious! It sounds out of place compared to the "plainish" sound on other tracks.
I agree that the production is a bit lackluster.
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16.04.2018 - 23:34
ZOMBIESiTellsYa
Can someone explain to me what the appeal is of this band? I'm genuinely curious. From what I can tell it's meant to be more like an auditory horror film than something with any kind of hook.
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19.04.2018 - 13:24
Rating: 8
LuciferOfGayness
MS necromancer
Written by ZOMBIESiTellsYa on 16.04.2018 at 23:34

Can someone explain to me what the appeal is of this band? I'm genuinely curious. From what I can tell it's meant to be more like an auditory horror film than something with any kind of hook.

The appeal is the same as with every other band that makes alternative music - to create/listen to something thats interesting within the genre.
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19.04.2018 - 13:38
ZOMBIESiTellsYa
Written by LuciferOfGayness on 19.04.2018 at 13:24

The appeal is the same as with every other band that makes alternative music - to create/listen to something thats interesting within the genre.


Obviously, but that doesn't address anything specific to this band. Maybe you would like to elaborate on what it is you find interesting about Portal?
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19.04.2018 - 14:05
Rating: 8
LuciferOfGayness
MS necromancer
Written by ZOMBIESiTellsYa on 19.04.2018 at 13:38

Written by LuciferOfGayness on 19.04.2018 at 13:24

The appeal is the same as with every other band that makes alternative music - to create/listen to something thats interesting within the genre.


Obviously, but that doesn't address anything specific to this band. Maybe you would like to elaborate on what it is you find interesting about Portal?

Sorry but its that obvious, most of the appeal comes from context - I enjoy death metal and enjoy what the band is doing with death metal - that will always be the main appeal.

If we keep to this album you probably have read something about the production - this band is very good at creating atmosphere. With this release theyve changed the production a bit which highlights the riffing but at the cost of the drums. They had a more downtuned sound and a murkier production earlier where the drums had a more ritualistic sound. As this production is cleaner the riffing gets more technical which is almost anti-technical with Portal. So theres lots of interesting things with Portal - the ritualistic sound (which is more electric here), the technicality, the atmospehre, the brutality and the darkness. And this band also creates stories around their albums - obviously electricity and matemathics is the main theme here. But those themes are portrayed in a dark manner - ESPIONAGE and so on.... But the most interesting thing about Portal is the same as with any band - context.
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19.04.2018 - 14:59
ZOMBIESiTellsYa
Written by LuciferOfGayness on 19.04.2018 at 14:05

Sorry but its that obvious, most of the appeal comes from context - I enjoy death metal and enjoy what the band is doing with death metal - that will always be the main appeal.

If we keep to this album you probably have read something about the production - this band is very good at creating atmosphere...


Your first comment is still an oversimplification. It's not that hard to make general observations about what elements of a band or genre tend to make it appealing to listeners. In the example of death metal it's easy to highlight guttural vocals, heavy downtuned guitars, dark lyrical themes, aggressive atmosphere etc. as aspects that most fans of the genre find enjoyable. Conversely nobody would say they listen to DSBM for its chirpy melodies. I'm just trying to understand what the average Portal fan looks for in the music, as that approach has helped me get into bands and genres I once didn't understand.

Second part of your comment is helpful. Seems like my original assumptions were correct with regards to a dark atmosphere being more important than hooks in Portal's case. Thanks
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