Published Jan 26, 2021Portrayal of Guilt are slowly becoming an institution in the realm of heavy music. Existing as sonic drifters amongst many subgenres, Portrayal of Guilt have created their own signature sound amongst a backdrop of noise, hardcore and black metal. Their new record, We Are Always Alone, has meticulously distilled the best aspects of their sound into its most refined form.
For an album that pulls from extreme forms of music, there is an incredibly powerful sense of melody and pop structure to these songs. The experience makes for an extremely catchy album the entire way through. From the hypnotic melodies on "Anesthetized" and "It's Already Over" to the pop-punk "Masochistic Oath," there are plenty of memorable moments on here for a band that is not known for their melodic prowess.
Previous Portrayal of Guilt releases often ran into this issue of implementing their harsh noise or atmospheric elements as a means of stringing songs together. We Are Always Alone has really tamed down these elements this time around, but they are most certainly not forgotten about. Subtle transitions between songs help to set the overall mood of the album without drowning out its substance, acting as a great palate cleanser before the listener is submerged into the album's next sonic barrage.
Vocalist Matt King has really expanded his range on this album. Not only are his signature screams and howls more vile than ever, but he is also able to deliver them with ever-increasing clarity, alongside a vast amount of vocal experimentation. From the catchy vocal chorus on "It's Already Over" to the melodic outro on "My Immolation," the vocals provide some of the best moments on the record.
We Are Always Alone is a further ascension of Portrayal of Guilt as one of the best artists in heavy music. It is too early to call this the band's best work, as there is so much more to come from this band going forward. For a heavy album full of unexpected surprises, We Are Always Alone is an ideal second full-length from an up-and-coming band.
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