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Portrait - At One with None Award winner

At One with None
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 11 October 2021, 11:12 AM

People think many times that the Swedish Metal scene arose after the coming of Death Metal acts, or even with BATHORY. This isn’t right, because there were bands as SILVER MOUNTAIN (where the brothers Jens and Anders Johansson, who played with Yngwie Malmsteen, played), and musicians as Andy LaRoque (the long-time KING DIAMOND’s guitarist), is proof that Swedish Metal has long-time deeper roots. And it’s not a surprise to deal with a very good band as PORTRAIT, as their new album, “At One with None”, is out now.

They play a traditional Heavy Metal way similar to Northern Heavy Metal acts of the 80’s as MERCYFUL FATE (carrying the same somber lyrical aspect), KING DIAMOND, HELL and others on such a way, so it’s somewhat theatrical in some moments. Their melodies are truly amazing, and they play as heavy as Hell, with some massive energy and falsetto tunes on vocals (that really show influences from King Diamond sometimes, but Per uses very good normal tunes that can bring to mind some ways used by Matt Barlow), solid and catchy guitars (Christian really creates very good riffs and solos), and technical and heavy work on rhythmic artillery (Fredrik and Anders really are great on their playing). Yes, they’re great, indeed! The sonority is strong and clean, defined and using very good instrumental tunes. Everything is sounding great, clean and defined, as their music asks for (and a band with a theatrical appeal on music as they have needs such feature).

Be prepared to enter the darkness, and be guided by their hands. But songs as “At One with None” (very good technical approach on bass guitar and drums, but the melodies are impossible to resist), “Curtains (The Dumb Supper)” (this one has a JUDAS PRIEST/NWOBHM appeal on the melodies and harmonies, with charming guitars once more, and very good darkened catchy melodies), “Phantom Fathomer” (a theatrical appeal can be heard as the vocals show a somber appeal, fitting on the climatic instrumental lines), “He Who Stands” and “Ashen” (both songs full of intense funeral ambiences, similar to those used by KING DIAMOND during “Conspiracy” days), “A Murder of Crows” (this one shows some extreme parts on bass guitar and drums, along with very good technical parts), and… forget it… The full album is truly amazing. And for those who love extra tracks, there are two: “The Blood is the Life” and “Farewell to the Flesh”.

For now, PORTRAIT shows a mature work on “At One with None”, and it’s an invitation to enter a domain of darkness and fun, to forget the hardships for some time. And it’s another album that I’ll try to buy a physical copy for myself in the future (as my country leads the economic morass created by this ‘christian’ president fascists love).

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

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
Per Lengstedt - Vocals
Christian Lindell - Guitars
Fredrik Petersson - Bass
Anders Persson - Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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Edited 31 March 2023

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