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Portal Swarth album cover
3.53 | 9 ratings | 2 reviews | 22% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Swarth (4:15)
2. Larvae (4:26)
3. Illoomorpheme (3:16)
4. The Swayy (5:22)
5. Writhen (4:51)
6. Omenknow (3:03)
7. Werships (8:36)
8. Marityme (6:53)

Total Time 40:42

Line-up / Musicians

- The Curator / vocals
- Horror Illogium / lead guitar
- Aphotic Mote / rhythm guitar
- Omenous Fugue / bass
- Ignis Fatuus / drums

Releases information

Full-length, Profound Lore Records
October 20, 2009

Thanks to J-Man for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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PORTAL Swarth ratings distribution

(9 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (11%)

PORTAL Swarth reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Prog Sothoth
3 stars Swarth is somewhat of an endurance test, not exactly in the "how long can I listen to this before I have to shut it off" sense, but more in the "how long can I listen to this before my bowels erupt and my stomach starts devouring itself" vein. It's actually kind of a fun game for those with strong stomachs. I mention the stomach and lower intestinal regions because the guitars here are tuned ridiculously low to the point where the guitar strings just dangle like spagetti strands and some of these plucked "notes" are too low to register as much more than a low buzz that hurts the gut. The vocals are death growls belching forth esoteric and quite odd lyrics:

"Venous Stasis Fey Terminus Lugubrious EverPuce Perforate/Disseminate Polymouth Clotting Foul Exsanguinate Psyphonetaneous Secrete!"

Lyrics like Jon Anderson's evil and completely demented twin would conjure.

The overall sound is what counts here, which is an atmosphere of absolute chaos and terror, in which this album succeeds in its aims. There is technicality in the musicianship, but that's not really the focal point to this endeavor, thus a lot of these weird riffs are blurred into this noisy maelstrom with psycho drum bashing and a cavernous production. It doesn't need to be said that this album isn't for everyone. Even many fans of extreme metal (let alone prog) have found this "too out there" or just plain bonkers. I actually don't kick back in my favorite chair and swirl a glass of brandy while listening to the soundscapes of Swarth very often (well...hardly ever, actually), but once in a rare while I can enjoy this sort of monstrous material as that rather fun endurance test I mentioned earlier, and that's probably what the band was going for when they created this thing.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Swarth' - Portal (7/10)

Coming from a band with an image almost as strange and disturbed as their music, it should come as no surprise to listeners that Australian experimental death metal monsters Portal are not an easily pill to swallow. With 2009's 'Swarth', here is a forty minute barrage of noise, blastbeats, growls and inhumanly distorted riffs. Although the music of this band is sure to only appeal to a specific, particularly maniacal brand of the metal crowd, Portal take their style of deranged Lovecraftian metal and do some great things with it.

'Swarth' takes no time to get started, almost immediately throwing the listener down into a pit of nothingness. From the title track to the last moment of music here, there is a nearly unrelenting wave of harsh, abrasive sounds, with little- if any- respite to speak of. That being said, the effect of this sound is undeniable. What they may lack in variety and dynamic, Portal makes up for in atmosphere. Soundwise, Portal has a fairly unique sound for death metal, sounding like an atmospheric black metal group toned down a few octaves, and filtered through three or four added distortion boxes. Atmosphere is key here; through all of the growls, noisy waves of abrasion and heaviness, there lies a deep sense of despair and horror that stays comfortably in check with the Lovecraftian themes Portal builds around.

In terms of the performance itself, the riffs here are very technical from the sounds of it, but any intricacy is lost in the noisy foliage of the production, which is surprisingly high fidelity for such an unclear recording. Coming through most profoundly are the blistering drums of Ignis Fatuus, who never cease to amaze through their martial displays and ferocious blast beats.

Certainly no band for the weak-hearted, Portal does not compromise even slightly with their sound on 'Swarth'. Very noisy and dense, and none too light on variety, but the sheer impact is undeniable.

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