Four long years have passed since Portrait’s previous album aptly titled Burn The World and the world indeed was on fire. Only the strong survive as the old saying goes, so these Swedish demons of true HM sound are back with their 5th full length offering called At One with None. Also this title can be applied on today’s era filled with uncertainty, false idols and madness everywhere but as we know for a long time, metal is the sanctuary that will never lie to us so let’s go straight to Portrait to see what they have prepared to us for this occasion. In my opinion every album of this troop has a sort of red line, a vibe that connects al, the songs into one cohesive whole. So Burn The World was filled with fire and aggression, sounding like someone who is breaking out of its shackles and running alone on its terms. On the other hand, At One with None goes hand in hand with its ironic title – the thing is, overall tempo is slower and the songs are longer. There are a lot of twists and turns to be revealed upon the concentrated listening and in that regard, I would compare At One with None with Portrait’s second album Crimen Laesae Majestatis Divinae, the one that put the band on the map. In the same time, all songs are filled with venomous malice that can be clearly felt when you listen to the album. That feeling is compatible with lyrical content that is standard for Portrait by now: we all should know by now that this band is not singing about some superfluous content but instead search for inner fire on left hand path. I think that by now all cries of ‘’Merciful Fate copycat’’ should be cast aside when we are speaking about Portrait, as the band clearly has its own sound. Yes, it maybe does not bring anything unheard of but it sounds inspired by old school metal and not pure copy if you get my drift. If one clearly loves the style and has something to say it can be felt easily and such is the case with Portrait and At One with None. Despite all odds, this troops still marches on and this release is one more in the line of proofs that they are here to stay.
Metal Blade CD
Slobodan Trifunovic (8,5)