Album: Burn the World
Release Date: 25th August, 2017
Label: Metal Blade
Review by Sean
I’ve heard of these guys before, through other friends mentioning them, and seeing their name online, but I’ve never really taken the time to get to know the band and what they can do. I walked away from hearing this album not quite a new fan, but somewhat impressed with what I heard. For me, the stumbling block here was the vocals. They’re good, it’s just not the style of vocals I tend to go for.
If I had to liken them to anything else, I’d say it’s akin to King Diamond. That sort of falsetto style, which, try as I might, I just can’t get into. Not to say the album is bad, because it’s not. It’s actually a damn fine effort, just the vocals did nothing for me. I guess what you could off-handedly term as “occult metal” just isn’t for me, but nontheless, this is still an album I can appreciate the values of.
Take the title track (and first proper track after the intro), ‘Burn the World’. It’s cheesy, but it’s fun. I enjoyed it. It’s full of all the tropes of the same type of music, more of a tribute to some of the best stuff you’d get from King Diamond or indeed Mercyful Fate, perhaps even a touch of Candlemass, and that’s all good stuff, when it comes down to it. Call it paying homage to your heroes, call it furthering a well established style, call it what you will, it starts the album (after the intro track, of course) off on the right foot. Musically I really dug it, and after a second listen, I could get along with the vocals a bit more. It might well be an album I listen to again.
Another highlight would be Track 6, ‘Martyrs’. Again, it’s full of that 80’s occult metal sound, and in particular, the intro actually reminds me of the sort of sound you’d get from 80’s era Ozzy, whether it be Rhoads or Lee. From the track’s intro to the end, that sound is clear, and especially in the extremely well crafted solo, which Rhoads himself would surely be looking down proudly at.
All in all, if you like the whole Mercyful Fate/King Diamond sound, you’re sure to love this. Me? I merely liked it, but hey, I like it quite a bit, and I’ll even go so far as to check out more of what Portrait have to offer. I recommend you do too.
1. Saturn Return (Intro)
2. Burn the World
4. Flaming Blood
5. Mine to Reap
7. Further She Rode
8. To Die For
9. Pure of Heart
Visit the band on Facebook: www.facebook.com/portraitsweden
Get the album here: www.metalblade.com/portrait