By Dr. Abner Mality

It’s not hard to figure out that Altarage are big fans of Australia’s masters of psychotic death metal weirdness Portal.  As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to say that these Spaniards are a bald-faced knockoff of the warped Aussies. That means you can expect to get flattened by a wall of total guitar noise on “Nihl”. Like Portal, Altarage use cryptic song-title like “Drevicet”, “Womborous” and “Graehence”.  And of course, their “real” identities are a closely guarded secrets which they hide behind featureless black masks. Lest they be revealed as members of a lucrative Loverboy cover band.

I’m a fan of total blast in small doses but Altarage’s version becomes flat and rather meaningless quickly. Similar to how their fellow Spaniards Teitanblood do it. The songs are one big murky noise…vicious, no doubt, but lacking shape. When slower dragging riffs do appear, which they do all too infrequently, there is a gripping sickness to the band. If they let up on the gas a little bit and focused more on that end of the repertoire, perhaps this would register more.

So far there is only one Portal and “Nihl” shows they have no real contenders to their throne as of yet.