Portal - Ion
Critic Score
Based on 6 reviews
2018 Ratings: #56 / 404
User Score
Based on 67 ratings
2018 Ratings: #202
January 26, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Profound Lore / Label
Death Metal / Genres
Suggest a Genre
Abuse of this feature may prevent future contributions from your account.
Your Review


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.

Feb 1, 2018
If you like mysterious vomiting noises with cool guitar, then this album is cool. Will likely be popular with the boys who wear all black and look like skeletons who smell like weed and smegma.
Feb 10, 2018
There are no melodies, no hooks, and no real grooves to be found on Ion, and, to my ears, all of the tracks sound fairly homogeneous. Maybe that is purposeful, as it is supposed to be a heavy, all-consuming metal record, so maybe Portal have no use for these traditionally pop music elements. However, I really did not feel as if the album was recorded in a way that makes it feel heavy at all. In fact, due to the awful recording, the record really carries nearly no weight at all, and any ... read more
Jan 31, 2018
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
Jul 13, 2018
The groups best work yet! This album improves on nearly everything they have done up to this point whether it's the technical abilities of these musicians or just a general feeling. This album feels and sounds are bleak, dystopian, crisp, foreboding and much more. It's raw, unhinged terror thrown at the listener. The instrumentation this time around is a lot more unique and at times quite mind-blowing such as on the song "Spores". The songs are structured this time with pay-off unlike ... read more
Jul 12, 2018
I have a massive fucking headache now

Favs: Olde Guarde, Nth, Phreqs, Revolt of Volts
Purchasing Ion from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?

Added on: January 4, 2018