BY Denise FalzonPublished Nov 3, 2009

Australia's Portal bring forth a form of death metal that's unique and unorthodox, but the band somehow manage to have a classic sound that should please even the most diehard traditional death metal fan. Their latest effort, Swarth, has an extremely raw feel, with heavily distorted guitar riffs that aid in the album's overall chaotic and apocalyptic atmosphere. The release's eight tracks all contain that same distortion blast anchored by down-tuned rhythms, sharing some black metal aspects. Vocalist the Curator is the driving force behind many of the tracks, with dark and brutal gutturals, showcased especially well on "Larvae." With a distinctive, heavy guitar sound and particularly menacing, echoing vocals, "The Swayy" is the album's most extreme tune, with the band constructing their instrumental noise in an almost suffocating way. This isn't your typical metal record; Portal will definitely receive some criticism for their lack of production quality, unrefined, murky sound and overly disturbing atmosphere, but others will appreciate Swarth for just that.
(Profound Lore)

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