Portal - Ion
Critic Score
Based on 7 reviews
2018 Ratings: #98 / 671
User Score
Based on 97 ratings
2018 Ratings: #426
January 26, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Profound Lore / Label
Death Metal / Genres
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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...
Portal's approach to technical death metal is dizzying, experimental, and absolutely harrowing. These are characteristics that I do seek in my death metal albums, and I can't say that what the band offers on 'Ion' has disappointed me in a compositional standpoint. You have angular guitars all over the place, that keep on shifting as the songs progress, occasionally flashy drums and the absolutely unnerving vocals, which do add an interesting claustrophobic feel to the mix.

The combination of ... read more
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
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.
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Track List

  1. Nth
  2. Esp Ion Age
  3. Husk
  4. Phreqs
  5. Crone
  6. Revault of Volts
  7. Spores
  8. Phathom
  9. Olde Guarde
Contributions By
thisisabtlgrnd, patton
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Added on: January 4, 2018