Ne Obliviscaris – Portal of I

Overall, this album is a triumph. Its complexity may make it a little hard for some people to swallow, but Portal of I is a hugely ambitious and multifaceted debut which is not only a great achievement for the band, but also sure to become a seminal album of the genre.

Parkway Drive – Deep Blue

Fans of the hardcore spectrum yet consistently pegged as metalcore, Parkway Drive have never been considered an outright metal band. However, with latest endeavour Deep Blue, they just might be responsible for blurring that thin, thin line to an incredibly indiscernible extent.

Portal/ Krallice/ Bloody Panda @ Mohawk Place, Buffalo NY May 24, 2010

The energy that Portal projected, both in their music and their sheer physical presence, was overwhelming. Every gesture that The Curator made was impossibly intense. I spent the entire set staring wildly up at the band, certain that any moment something Very Bad was going to happen. They’re masters at wielding this carefully managed sense of dread. Portal is aptly named; when they were on stage, reality felt somehow thinner than it was before.

Natalie Zed reviews the May 24th performance by Portal, Krallice and Bloody Panda at Buffalo, NY’s Mohawk Place. Concert photography by Adam Wills.

Impetuous Ritual – Relentless Execution of Ceremonial Excrescence

Despite the fact that the album title reads as if Impetuous Ritual chose it using Death Metal Mad Libs, this album is anything but random in concept and performance. No, this soul-rending slab of doom-laced death metal is a calculated carnage machine of the first order.

Tate Bengston reviews the new album by Portal side-project Impetuous Ritual, released earlier this year by Profound Lore Records.

Midnight Odyssey – Firmament

Firmament’s sound places the album squarely within ambient black metal territory, more Drudkh than Darkthrone. As such it’s probably more likely to appeal to those looking for something like the former than the latter. Think Circle of Ghosts but with more thunderous kick.