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Town Portal - Of Violence CD (album) cover

OF VIOLENCE

Town Portal

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.00 | 1 ratings

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TCat
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Town Portal is a Experimental/Post Metal band from Denmark that was formed in 2009. Since that time, they have released 1 EP and 3 full length albums, the latest of which was released in April of 2019 and titled "Of Violence". The current line-up consists of Christian Henrik Ankerstjerne on guitars, Malik Breuer Bistrup on drums, and Morten Ogstrup Nielson on Bass. This album also has guest musicians Tommy Peach on Trumpet and Will Gardner on Saxophone. The album has 9 total instrumental tracks with a total run time of just over 44 minutes.

"Better Angels" starts the album off like the ticking time bomb sound from the cymbals and a deep, dark guitar line and nothing else. "Archright" follows with a sudden increase in noise and "Pelican" style heaviness with layers of dark and loud guitars playing solid riffs and melody lines. The sound lightens up towards the middle as the guitar lines become jangly, the bass gets more prominent and the brass comes in for a short time. "Veyshnorians" starts with echoing strummed chords and then the drums pound out a quicker beat with guitars playing a complex melody and then improvise heavily over that melody. "Receiving End" uses a more complex rhythm foundation while the bass thumps along and the guitar chimes out broken chords.

"Soil to Own" establishes a driving rhythm between drums and bass. With the addition of the guitar later, things begin to intensify. When the brass enters the picture, it turns into a wall of sound for a while before breaking down to a punchiness that continues to drive the track forward. The heaviness of the track is the reason that the music is considered Post Metal and not necessarily Post Rock. "Roko's Basalisk" is the longest track at over 7 minutes, and lends itself as a centerpiece to the album. Again, it is heavy, but this time with a start/stop foundation until the bass and drums break loose with a steady, almost flowing rhythm which the guitars scream and wail in protest above it. As the track continues, the heavy riffs spark thoughts of "Meshuggah's" complexity and unsettling loudness. Things break down a bit in the last half as a trumpet tries to establish its own improvisation over the guitar layers while the guitar plays chromatic lines.

"Othering/Anothering" sounds surprisingly smooth and almost accessible after the previous complex track. The guitar lines shimmer along nicely, but fade after only a few minutes. "Human Touch" goes back to a complex rhythm and again recalls the heavy darkness of "Pelican". The bass is the most important instrument in this track and it takes a tricky melody line and the guitar emulates that with improvisations of its own. At the halfway point, there are places that the bass gets really evil sounding. At last, towards the end, the guitar takes off with the melody and then gets replaced by the trumpet. "Vanitas" is more repetitive, but in a complex way. It goes from loud to soft sections building off of the repetitive lines to crescendo to extreme heaviness only to break down again. At 4 minutes, things turn suddenly sludgy with a slow beat and deep echoing guitars.

The music does not lend itself to experimentalism or avant-prog as much as it does to the post-metal/rock sound. The sound is heavy, but not necessarily harsh, and even gets upbeat in some places, but always remaining mostly dark and sinister sounding. Though the approach is close to the band "Pelican", "Town Portal" isn't afraid to break out of the sludgy sound and venture into faster rhythms at times and has more of a variance to the overall sound. This is a pretty good album and the tracks never really overstay their welcome giving more life to the overall style. This album would be appealing to those that like the heavier sound of post-rock/metal, but don't mind if things venture off into other styles on occasion.

TCat | 4/5 |

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