Portent – Dismal Deities (demo)

Portent_Dismal_DeitPortent music is described as Doom/Black Metal, and this demo’s very first track does in fact give you that combination (leaning more toward a slow to mid-tempo style of the latter), but you’d be remiss in stopping there. Everything about Dismal Deities has a sparseness to it. Rather than following the tendency in the underground to go for a thick, swirling distortion, guitars here are decidedly thinner, and though it feels jarring at first, the rewards quickly reveal themselves. With that stylistic decision, the well-played bass takes a more centralized role, and – along with the spacious drums – Dismal Deities resultant, entwined sound evokes under-produced versions of Candlemass Ancient Dreams instrumentation. Now the songwriting may not be on par with that all-time classic, but Portent has something going for them that most bands don’t – an overall uniqueness to their writing, shining foremost on tracks two and three (‘Hollow Oaths’ and ‘Paranoiac Invocation’). Both of these songs contain certain medieval qualities, ‘Hollow Oath’ in particular. Therein I hear simple outtakes of Obsequiae’s Suspended In the Brume of Eos, and – while Dismal Deities is nowhere near the greatness of that record – any such comparison should be taken by Portent as a major compliment. In fact, just start with ‘Hollow Oaths’ and move forward – I strongly feel this should have been the opener, with first track ‘Woven’ moved to the end due to its far more recognizable Burzum/doom energy.

Though I’d be hard-pressed to guess which direction the sole member will take this project – more black? More doom? More medieval? the more I listen to Dismal Deities the more I sense the potential pouring from it. Looking forward to hearing what’s next from this London artist. -Jim

Self-released

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~ by cliftonium on March 5, 2014.

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