Review PORTRAIT ‘At One With None’

It took a while for Swedish metal warriors Portrait to unchain their newest album ‘At One with None’. It’s the fifth album from the quartet and it is a next blast, a next stellar chapter the guys added to the books.

Four years after ‘Burn the World’ hit the shelves it’s the new album that offers a set of ten new songs. Although being rooted in more traditional heavy metal, Portrait created their own sound and their own identity. It’s a shift from outside triggers to insight inspiration the band went through, and the new album is a next leg on this trip of evolving an own style.

The first song on the album is the title track. The acoustic guitar that starts off the track morphs rather quickly into a pounding metal track that electrifies. The song is driven by a might riff, and it takes a while before the track shows its greatness. A lot happens within these almost eight minutes and it’s worth to unfold this little milestone step by step.

The galloping ‘Curtains (The Dumb Supper)’ is next and equally good as the opener, something that goes for the entire album. The guys are definitely steering the metal ship in a good direction.

Drums and riff slowly introduce a mid-tempo stomper called ‘Phantom Fathomer’. From silence to hard-hitting heaviness is the approach of a track that lives by some screaming guitar leads and a hypnotic expression. Portrait shift gears when it comes to ‘He Who Stands’, a heavy song that has it all, from speedy parts to acoustic moments and a mystic vibe. It feels like the song is building up a thrill towards ‘Ashen’. It’s a chiming bell that starts this nine-minute epos. An acoustic guitar takes over the lead before the masterpiece of the album evolves to a stunning metal track. ‘Ashen’ is not just a metal tune. It is the manifestation of Portrait’s interpretation of heavy metal with a hard-hitting rhythm section delivering the base for excellent guitar work and expressive vocals to shine. Portrait lives this song instead of just performing it.

‘A Murder of Crows’ is a wicked metal tune. It’s a fabulous example of raging metal with guitar neck acrobatics. Speed isn’t everything but it is certainly an enriching factor, and it secures a great flow for the album. After having faced the epic ‘Ashen’ it’s ‘A Murder of Crows’ and ‘Shadowless’ being the representatives of relentless metal without frills.

It’s again an acoustic guitar that marks the beginning of the last chapter on this stunning album. It’s a dark beginning that also shows the impressive vocal range of singer Per Lengstedt. He has the typical metal screams in his repertoire as well as some deeper vocals. The latter are present in the beginning of this final chapter on ‘At One with None’ while the earlier takes the lead for the rest of the song.

Portrait doesn’t disappoint and deliver with the ‘At One with None’ the anticipated next metallic strike. Like mentioned earlier, this longplayer shows traditional metal influences without the ambition to translate them into a modern context. Portrait developed their own signature sound and fine-tune it on their fifth album. This album is a treat for metalheads and a highlight in the dark days of crazy and unreal world.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. At One With None
  2. Curtains (The dumb supper)
  3. Phantom Fathomer
  4. He Who Stands
  5. Ashen
  6. A Murder Of Crows
  7. Shadowless
  8. The Gallow’s Crossing

Label: Metal Blade Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: September 3rd, 2021

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