- At the Ghost Gate
- We Were Not Alone
- In Time
- Black Easter
- Ageless Rites
- Our Roads Must Never Cross
Release Date 25 April 2014 – Metal Blade
“A Shot in the Dark”
Almost every day we see new bands rising from the unknown, whether they have a personal sound from their early days or not. As I have mentioned many times it’s not what you play, but the way you do it. For me Portrait are winners. They were from the first bands presented their love for Mercyful Fate. In “Crimen…” they were very fast, sharp and black and in their new album “Crossroads” go on with their personal darkness and are more anthemical (check “We Were Not Alone”) and even less followers of the Fate sound.
Yeah, “Crossroads” is as dark and black as “Crimen…”, but the sacrifice of speed in order to incorporate refrains doesn’t hold it back. On the other hand makes it more open and a classic piece of heaviness. Think that Mercyful Fate are sounded as less as the precocious Iron Maiden and Judas Priest appear to erupt the songs. Also the way the album is sounded, helps even more Per to show to those calling him as a clone of King Diamond, that he has an ability to use his voice anyhow. Listen to his narrative and at the same time “theatrical” performance in “Our Roads Must Never Cross” or his inevitability in “Black Easter”. By the way this song could easily be the different one if my thinking reference of it’s characteristic Rush rhythm is true.
Of course, Per proves for one more time why he is the ideal singer for this band through his high and thrilled performances in “At the Ghost Gate” and “Ageless Rites”. Aside him those riffs and leads that never stop. Behind every riff are hiding several leads and this is one of the trademarks for Portrait. But guys, when it comes this EPIC “Lily” time stops. Its acoustic intro takes your memories back in the middle ’70s (“Last Rose of Summer” and others…) and then… a galloping riffing that could never end. And after, a dazzling finale with that a la Halford scream and the acoustic melody ending as “Liberation” begun (if I’m right for one more time, the intro song could easily pay tribute to the solo album of Jim Matheos “Away with Words”).
If for the most of you In Solitude are heroes because they tried something successfully different, then Portrait with this album make me a warmer follower of them. And I’m sure that Cristian Lindell and David Olofsson can keep riffing on that way and sharing with us their heavy darkness rising from the graves of Kristianstad. Please, guys keep sounding with that combat production.
Review by Dr.Feelgood