Friday, May 8, 2015

TOWN PORTAL: "The Occident"

Rating: RRRR
Label: Subsuburban/SmallPond Rec. 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Instrumental rock, it's either boring as hell or simply just the grand experience as well as the massive jam party. Put this down for the latter. The Danish power-trio of Town Portal are coming up with goodies on their sophomore release - The Occident. Danskdjävlar!! Excuse me. I merely thought of this Swedish character (Dr. Helmer/ Ernst Hugo) from the TV series of Riget. It's one monster chord after the other and the complex time changes and structures found on this record goes beyond expectation.

Keep in mind. You won't find any of the fast shredding solos or over-the-top flashy work of guitar heroes of the past. It's mind blowing Math-Rock and Metal (or progressive stuff if you're old school) with atmospheric passages and thick layers of bass vs. guitar duals. To keep things (very) basic and direct to the point. It's the melodic approach of Rush, the fatness and heaviness of Tool, the weirdness of Shiner, and add to this the rhythmic complexities that have come to characterize the band.

Heavily synchronized and almost tectonic quality that allows the three of Christian Henrik Ankerstjerne (guitars), Morten Ogstrup Neilsen (bass), Malik Breuer Bistrup (drums), to run amok across the music fields. It's themes of repetitions that surely will attract anyone from the nerdy gamer to the sophisticated (oh, well) math metal and progressive rock fan.

Abstract pictures of acid creatures and cyber-junkies are constantly bouncing inside my head as I experience their wicked playfulness of "Yes Golum" or "World Core and Periphersal Islands". It's hardly every man/woman's poison, but darn it, this is good!
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