30. Portal - Vexovoid
The last album from those cult Australian death metallers is a nightmarish labyrinth of menacing, oozing guitar drones and ear scraping dissonant chords, laden with cryptic lyrics chanted by a monstrous voice that sounds like it is from another dimension, or at least from an underground cave a few miles below us. The unconventional drum beats contribute to creating the unsettling, deranging feeling given by the Portal experience, which is completed with the best production they ever had. Everything sounds lower and more down-tuned than their previous works, thus more hellish (god, that bass sound!). The atmospheric non-metal parts in "Plasm" and "Awreyon" are very effective in making the listener uncomfortable too. Also, if you have the digipak, you'll see that the artwork inside the booklet is pretty fascinating.
However, there are some down sides to this record. For one, the disturbing ambiance is not as intense as on Swarth
. That's the problem in having a cleaner production and "catchier" song structures. Also, the album is a bit too short; I believe that 34 minutes is not enough for an album of this type, that tries to create its own universe.
Still, listening to Vexovoid
is a unique experience. I'm still hoping they manage do get a North American tour someday...
The Back Wards