There are very few bands that leave an indelible imprint on my psyche and move me to the point of tangible ‘uncomfortableness’. Australia’s Portal is one of those bands.

While some may construe the band’s atonal, muddy and chaotic form of grimy death metal nothing more than structureless noise, I personally find the band’s material a disturbing vortex of HP Lovecraftian psychosis and discordant art. It’s like a Hieronymus Bosch painting in musical form (the ‘instrumental’ title track especially).

As with their debut, Seepia, Outre isn’t about riffs or song structure or even notes, but more about filthy, twisted and oozing atmospheres and otherwordly growls and grunts. It comes across like Morbid Angel played backwards at 33rpm in a cave…through a broken amp….. in a lake of entrails….in hell. Outre’s physically sickening, neurotic tones might actually appeal to some of the one man USBM bands like Xasthur and Leviathan in its draining, festering pulse and dissonant loathing of traditional metal pacing and structures. You might actually need some Haldol to prevent the nausea that Outre might induce.

Actually dissecting Outre song by song is a pointless task. The titles and lyrics are far beyond normal mortal understanding: i.e. “Souse in ichor, the clique transfuse.Volute the swarth, trawl betwixt phonotic, Scoff the festune” – from “Abysmill” or “Seepia accord thee, Stygian obsequious antipodes, Drear thy larder, paradoor thy quay”- from “Black Houses”. And the music is equally unfathomable for the traditional metal ear simply being a 38 minute journey into a mire of lurching, oozing blasts and heaving scrawling cadences that seem made for ears not of this world.

Outre isn’t for everyone, and some may indeed dismiss is as mere, pointless noise. Others, with a darker, subconscious desire for self destruction and sonic self abuse however may appreciate it for the fetid outpouring it is.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 17th, 2007


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