PORTAL – Swarth CD
Profound Lore Records
I don’t know who is off their meds, these Australians or the people who continue to call their music Death Metal? Post apocalyptic is more accurate with touches of Death, Grind and Industrial Experimental insanity. They could’ve used this as the soundtrack to that last Mad Max movie and then dragged Tina Turner chained behind a jeep across the Australian outback. Now that would be some Death Metal sounds after five minutes then the screams would subside. Actually PORTAL is the result of a scientific experiment in which Aborigines were breed with Dingoes within a cavernous lab in the Australian Outback during the 1940s. The goal of the project was to create super soldiers just in case the Japs invaded during World War Two. After the war the project was scrubbed and the lab abandoned with the newborn creatures left to fend for themselves in the desert caves. Fast forward fifty years later when an ACDC covers band, while traveling cross continent, inconveniently has van trouble and brakes down near the creature’s liar. Once night falls the creatures come out to see who’s trespassed near their territory. The creatures eventually kill the band members and take their musical instruments back into the cave.
After a few weeks of practicing the creatures emerge as the band, PORTAL, all wearing hooded robes to hide their true identity. They are lead by the most intelligent amongst their kind, the one who calls himself the Curator, who is also their vocalist. Personally I wouldn’t call what “it” does as vocals nor would I call their sound music. But who am I to argue with a half man half dingo. He just might eat my baby. Anyways they commandeer the ACDC covers band van and head into the nearest city. There they meet with a club promoter drunk on Fosters who’s fucked up enough to give em a gig. PORTAL plays the show and afterwards meets with a guy, also drunk on Fosters, who’s willing to record them in his studio. This all happened in 1998 with the result being a self titled three song demo, which has been re-released as a 7”er in 2009. Since that fateful year PORTAL has continued to release material onto a world unbeknownst to their true identity and origin.
Swarth is the band’s third full length, their second on Profound Lore Records and no they’re not Dingo-men nor are they a Death Metal band. It’s noise although horrendous sounding and extreme to the hilt. It’s still fuckin noise! The guitar playing could actually have been done by a dingo-man hybrid it’s that incoherent. The drumming is pure crap and you know about the vocals. I won’t confirm that PORTAL is just one big fuckin joke being pulled on people. They have too many releases for it to be a complete joke. The members of PORTAL might actually consider their music an art form. Yeah well whatever because art, just like music is up to the beholder to judge not its creator. Once again this is not Death Metal, Progressive Death Metal, and not even experimental Death Metal. It’s simply tuneless, rhythm-less noise that is completely forgettable after one listen.