PORTAL – VEXOVOID LP (Profound Lore Records)
Portal’s fourth full-length is a typically-challenging listen (although, to be fair, it is arguably more a mini-album than a full-length proper). There may be only 35 minutes of material on ‘Vexovoid’ but it’s so convoluted, abstract, inaccessible, complex, incoherent, disharmonic and headache-inducing that at times it seems to last for an eternity.
You will do well to wrap your head around this particular nightmare. How can an album that’s so downright difficult be so ridiculously rewarding? ‘Vexovoid’ reminds me of the heady days of yore when Death Metal was new and exciting and awkward to digest. It’s an absolute monster of an album, like a warped Gorguts on speed – only far better than that lame description suggests…
Insane, maniacal and very, very intelligent Death Metal that stands head and shoulders above most of the music I’ve listened to so far this year, ‘Vexovoid’ truly is a joy to behold. An LP to cherish, but – as I intimated at the outset – do not expect an easy ride. This is ugly and noisy. The vinyl edition is pure class, too. Bring the pain!