Portal - Avow
Critic Score
Based on 5 reviews
2021 Ratings: #336 / 512
User Score
Based on 72 ratings
2021 Ratings: #528
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Northern Transmissions
Portal’s cacophony transcends whatever notion people might have about what death metal can be, and they continue to succeed in being one of the most truly unique groups in the genre, imitators be damned.

Portal milk these ideas for their entire worth of atmospheric pandemonium, drilling their uncompromising, nonconformist motifs straight into the soul. Like the awakening of the Great Old Ones, Avow finds sanity crumbling before the dawn of primordial, unknowable fear.


Avow’s payoff isn’t immediate. It often takes a matter of introspection and repetition to truly access the worthwhile challenge Portal music has in its core.

I'm still not quite sure how to review this genre properly, so here's a couple of short little paragraphs about this latest Portal album:

"Avow" is pretty much more of what you would expect from Portal. Insanely relentless death metal instrumentation which pummels your head into a pulp. Anyone who has any appreciation for the technical aspects of metal music will certainly admire a lot of what goes into this. The drums are violently rapid and make my wrists hurt just by listening to ... read more
Portal's Avow is a pretty decent avant-metal album.

It's weird, but the entirety of this release fits a consistent theme. I think I definitely like this better than Ion, which I thought was very contrived. It doesn't excite me immensely, but it's a pretty chill, off-kilter metal album that does its job nicely. Most tracks on here are pretty good, Bode being the exception. This track just didn't do too much for me, but every other track features pretty similar but pretty effective songwriting. ... read more
Portal return with yet another great albu. In their relentlessly consistent discography. While this doesn't reach the heights of the incredible Ion, it's not trying to be Ion 2.0. Avow sees Curator and friends dialing up the despair, the hopelessness, and the apocalyptic drone. This sounds appropriately like the end of the world and Curator's rasp remains one of the most recognizable voices in death metal. Its technical, it's punishing, it's unforgiving. Fans of bands like Sunn O))) take notice ... read more
Portal are an Australian band, who have caught my attention, due to their very unique, murky and dizzying style of death metal. The playing is very technical, though you won't always be able to tell, just cause of how gloomy and swampy the production sounds, but the technical riffing is what I would again describe as dizzying. Avow here, I thought was pretty average playing wise for them, maybe slightly heavier, then its sister record, Hagbulbia was pretty plain compositionally, but that ... read more
Catafalque - 4/5
Eye - 3/5
Offune - 4/5
Manor Of Speaking - 3/5
Bode - 3/5
Drain - 4/5
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Added on: April 23, 2021