Portal - Ion
Critic Score
Based on 7 reviews
2018 Ratings: #119 / 841
User Score
Based on 160 ratings
2018 Ratings: #451
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The Needle Drop

Horrifying! Portal's Ion is one of the most dystopian and sound-rich technical death metal records of the decade.


Ion, their latest opus, feels like an attempt at rekindling the spark that is all too often lost to experience and complacency – a spur of the moment dusting of the easel.


ION shares the tendencies of freeform jazz and Beat-era writers, in that it is unhinged, raw creation. No doubt, it will test even the most open-minded of metal fans.

Metal Sucks

Older Portal could almost function like background music (the way jazz is for many people). Ion, by contrast, is in-your-face, Reign in Blood, basement-punk Portal. The songs are short and parts are gone as soon as they appear.


Their fifth record, ION, dispenses with murk and brings their sound into the sunlight, letting it burn in agony. It is their clearest, and as a result, most terrifying effort.

Metal Injection

This might not be the ideal jumping off point for newcomers, but ION is an advisable listen for veteran Portal fans and otherwise intrepid extreme metal adventurers alike.

It sounds like something terrible is going on in the room next to me. I can't see it, but the sound of whatever horrors are transpiring is enough to let my mind fill in the blanks, creating something that might be even more frightening than the actual event.

Or maybe I'm just talking out of my ass and it's just noise...
It gets the horror part well so I'll give it a decent score but this not my kind of record at all. I get physically sick listening to these kind of records. I'd recommend if you like the genre but um...

Jesus fix it
I like this type of metal but something is lacking in this album. The technical ability is there, they do have a good vocalist and the songs are dark and terrifying but it feels like something is lacking...
Maybe I'm having trouble grasping the entirety of this project, but this is hardly horrifying, or enjoyable. The vocalist sounds as if he's gasping for air, and the instrumentals are more just blatant noise to me. Most frustrating listen I've had to endure.
Portal are back to wreak havoc on our ears! The anonymous Australians continue to hone their take on death metal, pushing the boundaries further and further. After the two minute intro, 'ESP ION Age' begins in an unrelenting frenzy that never seizes for the remainder of the album.

There's a certain eariness to the album, which is further perpetuated through Portal's unhinged style and experimentation with their instruments. They have perfected creating an atmosphere in their music, largely ... read more
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Contributions By
thisisabtlgrnd, patton

Added on: January 4, 2018