Porta Nigra

I reviewed Germany’s Porta Nigra’s 2020 Schöpfungswut third album and was blown away by their avant-garde and brutal display of Black Metal.  The band also had some industrial influences, as well as chest-thumping anthems….similar in style to certain Rammstein songs.  Yes, the band continues to sing in their native  German language, which is fascinating.

As stated in my prior review, I cannot imagine the band singing in English, as the style and velocity of this band are best suited to have these songs crafted and sung in the native German language.  The band returns with Weltende – 9 songs in 47 minutes-essentially the same amount of time as their last album.  Weltende #1 maintains the main sound of the band and the music is pretty darn tight and I owe that to the 3-piece act remaining intact.  The other interesting part is these ears are hearing more death metal leanings this time around.

“Es ist Krieg” starts with war-themed excerpts and then blasts right into the music and it is punishing.  The squealing pinch harmonics are pretty brutal over the blast beats and the punishing double bass is going to make heads explode all over the place..  André Meyrink’s vox are even more piss ‘n’ vinegar infused this time around and the spoken word moments entering around the three-minute mark are great.  The patriotic flair is highly evident.  The title track is the longest song at over seven minutes starts punishing, but is also melodic and atmospheric.  The guitars, on this song, are strongly rooted in black metal and the spoken word moments mixed in with the growly vocals work great, with the dual vocal effect, adding a lot of diversity to the song.  The guitar solos around the 3.50 mark are well done and the squealing continues for a while, before the song ends with the war-themed excerpts.

“Völkerbrand” is a killer song and the beat at the beginning is classic, calling to 80’s/90’s death metal, really classic beat, for sure, loving this..  The vocals on this song, are quite angry, and he berates the shit outta the listener quite venomously.  The ethereal, synths on this song, continue on other parts of this album but are especially haunting here.  The 2.15 part, which slows down, has the spoken word vocals, gruff vocals, and the synths/piano, whatever that sound is, is one of the most atmospheric pieces Porta Nigra has ever crafted. It’s also menacing as well, like a foreboding. This part repeats again and I do feel this song is the best song on the album.  I love the tempo shift at the four-minute part, where there is a massive doom element and then the song picks up the pace and the cymbal hits will make your ears bleed.  Super crisp and they cut right through everything sharply, without being annoying, like some cymbal mixes can be on albums.

“Hora Mortis” ends the album in quite an emotive fashion, with the classical opening moments and beautiful piano sounds.  The aria-sounding vocals are excellent and some of the vocal tones of the spoken word moments sound like King Diamond from his 80’s Mercyful Fate days…those pained and agonizing vocals, where there is so much emotion to them.  The washed-out vocals in the background are too awesome and the song stays mid-paced for the majority of the duration with some galloping moments.  One of the most expansive songs the band has crafted, an excellent number.

Weltende is an excellent album by Porta Nigra.  I enjoy the inclusion of death metal elements throughout the album.  The band continues pushing the boundaries of music extremity with the avant-garde black metal, along a few industrial and atmospheric moments band makes interesting music.  The production on this album is even better than their last one, the guitars have a better sound on this.  Get this album at once!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
October 3rd, 2023


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