I must admit I do not know the Aussie death metal scene at all. The only exception may be Psycroptic. When I was given the responsibility for this review I didn’t have any idea for what to expect. Portal though was a nice surprise.
[colored_box color=”grey”]Rating: 9
Label: Century Media
Author: John Savvidis[/colored_box]
Their new album kicks in with “Horizons” and double harmonized guitars fading-in (just like Metallica’s “Blackened”) only to come to a trademark Kevill scream and the Thrash mayhem begins leading to a stop-and-go chorus. Their drummer (who is also in Hexen) brings great Black metal-esque elements to the music of Warbringer which fit perfectly due to the excellent guitar work made evident early on. The song ends with some acoustic guitar fading out bringing us “The Turning Of The Gears“, a midtempo Thrash track with the bass made evident throughtout the verse, ending to a great chorus. “One Dimension” coming up next has more of a rockin’ Thrash attitude, another mid tempo to the record speeding up between verses, ending to a chorus with a kind of punk-eque feel. “Hunter-Seeker” is the first song we heard from this album, a high speed tornado made to destroy with Black metal riffage within the song and some blasting on the chorus (“A silent OBLIVIOOOOON!”), an amazing one that is. The solos are amazingly melodic. “Black Sun Black Moon” is another headbanging midtempo track keep up with the Black metal feel in the riffage, including one more great chorus and top notch soloing. It’s also the first video of the album.
Up next we have “Scars Remain” an Exodus-like song made to cause chaos in the moshpits only to break by a headbanging chorus and then comes back to the speed and great lead work ending with a final round of mosh and blasting and over that some beautiful melodic guitar lines (found all over the record). Next some headbanging midtempo riffage to balance things up with “Dying Light” and a chorus balancing between fast and midtempo including some great blasting and soloing. “Iron City” follows as one of the most live show tracks they’ve ever written lyricwise, consisting mostly of old school Thrash riffage and a mood for stagediving! The next one makes things serious once more, the monstrous “Leviathan” (couldn’t imagine of a more fitting name) making us headbang in slow motion throughout the song with its dark melodies in the beginning breaking towards the end into a Thrash inferno. “Off With Their Heads” is a little Thrash dynamite. I can only imagine bodies flying in the air in live shows and large circles spinning till the end. “Towers Of The Serpent” has kind of a Lamb Of God influence in the drum intro before turning into a fast outbreak of Thrashing and blasting including a whipping chorus, some great groovy riffage in the middle before coming back to the midtempo and then into melodic guitar lines accompanied by a marching outro.
What we have here is one of the best Warbringer albums to date. Diverse technical and really mature in terms of songwriting. Well done guys see you with Iced Earth in January!! Crank this one up!
|Track List||Line Up||01. Horizon
02. The Turning Of The Gears
03. One Dimension
05. Black Sun, Black Moon
06. Scars Remain
07. Dying Light
08. Iron City
10. Off With Their Heads!
11. Towers Of The Serpent
|John Laux – guitars
John Kevill – vocals
Carlos Cruz – drums
Ben Mottsman – bass
Jeff Potts – guitars